“I Love You.” When is the last time you said that to someone and really meant it? Love is what Christians are called to show others. Love is what Jesus showed us as He died on the cross for our sins. True evidence of being a Christian is showing Christs’ love to others.
1 John really shows how vital it is that we love one another. It is one of my favorite books of the Bible next to Proverbs. 1 John really showed me how much my actions didn’t align with God’s word. I could no longer continue to claim I was a Christian when I wasn’t obeying God’s word. 1 John was one of the first books I read when I started to really take my faith seriously. If you haven’t read it I suggest you do it’s super short to. This book of the Bible convicted me like no other.
1 John 4:19-21 were some verses that stood out to me the most: “We love because he first loved us. If anyone says ‘I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
When I read this for the first time I was in utter shock. I was like but Lord this cannot be true. I love you. I truly do. But God says if you don’t love your brothers and sisters there is no way you can love me. And I’m like but Jesus you’re perfect you died on the cross for my sins they didn’t. They get on my nerves, you don’t. They hurt me, tell lies about me, and hate me for no reason, you never have and never will. I was just absolutely baffled because I love God with all of my heart but because I hold a grudge against Suzy Sue and Billy Bob in my heart God says I do not love Him. Boy did that hurt! Then I’m called a liar if I say I love God but I don’t love others. This was just heartbreaking to me because I knew that I had to change my ways. I had to love others because this is what Christ has called me to do. Regardless of the excuses I made about why I couldn’t love others like I claimed I love Christ it didn’t matter. What the word says, is what the word says.
I began to think about it more and more. Then it dawned on me how could God truly use me if I didn’t love others? How could God truly use me if every time somebody got on my nerves, said something I didn’t like, & hurt me I just wrote them off or sought revenge? The point is that as long as I didn’t love others God could never use me. God would never be able to use me to spread the Gospel as long as I didn’t love others. Imagine if God wanted me to minister to a non-believer. Since they are a non-believer they probably don’t have anything kind to say about my faith or my God. They probably even speak down on my religion. So imagine if God told me to minister to that person and as I was ministering they said some snide remark that made me upset so I just lost it and told them how I really felt. I gave them a piece of my mind. Well that non-believer definitely would still be a non-believer and then they’d most likely have an even more negative view of Christians and the Christian faith. Why would someone want to be a part of a faith if the believers treated people like that? Exactly, they wouldn’t. If I really was a Christian I would be able to demonstrate God’s love in that situation. Instead of treating them rudely as they treated me the right thing to do and true evidence of me being a Christian would be to not get angry but to respond with a kind word back just as Christ would do.
If I was going to show Christs’ love to others I have to first understand what was. So what is love? Scripture says in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” Love is all of those things. In fact God himself is love. God = love. So if we don’t know how to love others that means means we don’t know God. If you ever wonder why people act ugly towards others it’s probably because they don’t know God. If they truly did then their actions would show it. Especially non-believers, they don’t know God so they don’t know how to truly love. If you don’t know God get to know Him. And the only way to get to know God is by spending time with him daily and reading His word. The more we get to know God is the more we will be able to show love. When we know God, we know love. Scripture even says in 1 John 4:8, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
Loving others is difficult especially if you’ve been wronged and hurt by others. If loving others is one of your weaknesses pray earnestly about it. Pray also for those you have difficulty loving. Also meditate on some scriptures that talk about love. Even write those scriptures on note cards and take them with you wherever you go. Therefore, whenever you’re tempted to repay evil for evil you can be reminded of your duty to love others as a Christian. Even if you feel someone might not “deserve” your love remember that we only love others simply because Christ first loved us.
7 scriptures on love:
Leviticus 19:18“‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
Deuteronomy 6:5Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
John 13:34-35“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
1 Peter 1:22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
1 Peter 3:8Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
1 John 4:7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 Thessalonians 4:9Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.
The Proof of Your Love by For King & Country: