1 John 3:15-18
Verse 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
We go from yesterday’s talk of hate for sin and turn our attention to the radical love we are called to.
We have talked about the various ways that we are to show love in the way Scripture lays out and today we look at the level of radical love lived out by Jesus. We are often ready to love to the extent that it is comfortable but with Jesus as our example we have to know that isn’t enough. He taught that we are to love our enemies and yet sometimes we even struggle loving our friends. He called us to love in the way of forgiveness, not just once but 70X7, or in other words, every time. We may say, “Forgive them?! But you don’t understand what they have done to me.” And 70X7?! “But you can’t expect me to keep forgiving them when they keep causing me the same pain over and over.”
We set how much love we give by how much pain we have endured from the person that we are supposed to love. We believe that if the person has wronged us then they don’t deserve the level of love that a dear friend should have. But what if God had used that same measurement for us? We would have no hope.
God has loved us with an unwavering love. It wasn’t about us, it is about Him. This is the love He is calling us to love each other with. This is the love we have no excuse to withhold from other believers and yet the Church can be the last place we see this kind of love. We tend to be so full of pride that we think we deserve to hold things against those in the Church. We hold our brothers and sisters in Christ to higher standards than we hold ourselves and in doing so we overlook the love that God has shown us.
God showed His love to us in that while we were His enemies He sent His Son to die for our sins and to rise again so we can live eternally. We are to show our love for each other by laying aside our lives for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Remember that love is a verb and that means it needs to be active. It doesn’t matter if you say you love those in the Church if you are not loving them as Christ loved the Church. And this isn’t just showing love to those we like but to everyone in the Church.
Making It Personal
How have you failed at loving those in the Church? What are you willing to sacrifice for your brothers and sisters in Christ? Are you humble enough to be loved by your siblings in the Church?
Making It Personal Kids
What does love look like between sisters and brothers? Did you know that other Christians are our brothers and sisters in God’s family? Is it hard to love our brothers and sisters? What is a way we can show them we love them when they hurt us?
Father, You are love. We know we are to love sacrificially but we fail at it so often. Remind us of the ways You love us even when we don’t deserve it so that we can learn to show the same love to our brothers and sisters in Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.