little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. [1 john 3:18]
what is love?
we get very opposing views from the word of God and the world we live in when we seek an answer to this question. the world tells us love is affirming, love is overlooking wrong, love is leaving people as they are, love is staying silent so that others are not offended, love is condoning of the choices of others.
but the bible tells us God is love. [1 john 4:7-8] so the most loving thing God can give us is himself. to show us his glory and satisfy us with his presence. extending that definition outward to others, to love someone is to show them God’s glory, that they might be satisfied with his presence. to show them his marvelous light. to call them to walk in his way, that they might know his love, peace, kindness, joy, compassion. that they might have life! [john 17:3]
think about the way you love others.
- do you point them to Christ?
- do you seek to show them the glory of God through your conversations and actions toward and around them?
- do you speak and act toward them in a way that seeks their affection and affirmation, or approval?
- does your desire to be liked and accepted hinder you from showing true love?
think about the way you seek love.
- do you seek out people to affirm who you are in your flesh, or who look past your flesh to point your desires and affections to Christ?
- who are you spending time with and what does that say about what you desire in regards to love?
think about the way you love God.
- do you say you love him, but live in your own way instead of his?
while realizing that our battle is real between our flesh (the old man), and our new spirit awakened to life (the new creation), the bible tells us we cannot serve two masters. we can only love one. Jesus said if we love him, we will keep his commandments. [john 14:15] Jesus said if we love him, we will feed his sheep. [john 21:15-17] Jesus said if we love him, we will abide in him. [john 15:4-10] Jesus said if we love him, we will love our brother. [1 john 4:21]
- do these things describe you, or are you still serving the old man, in bondage to sin?
if we want to grow in our love for God, in our love for our brothers, in our love for our family, in our love for the lost, we have only one way. to seek to know the love of God. only when we’re filled with his love can we pour it out.
for one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. [romans 5:7-8]
today, in God’s presence, behold the Lamb. he loved you at your worst. know this love. this unconditional, irresistible, eternal, choosing kind of love. then ask to know it more. he’s waiting to show you!
~ arwen eastman