Read 1 John 4:1-21
God gave up what He loved the most because He loved us so much. God the Father chose to offer His very own Son for the love of you and me. That’s why we celebrate Christmas.
“Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (v. 10).
Jesus Christ is the standard. This is love. Giving up our self-centered ways, our self-seeking desires because God loved us.
His is the example we have for the love we have. In marriage. With our children. In friendship. In the Church. As the Church.
“Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another” (v. 11).
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
But love gets hard. Your husband lets you down. Your wife breaks a promise. Your pride shows up and wants to prove itself right. Selfishness gets in the way, and pushes love to its limits, and suddenly you’re faced with a decision: love like God does or ignore the call. But loving like God loves brings the promise of a blessing that none of us can possibly bring about on our own.
“If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us” (v. 12).
When we choose to love, God works in mighty ways to perfect His love in each of us. As we love the way He’s called us to love, He makes the way we love more like the way He loves. But it requires giving up our selfish ways, our self-seeking desires, our prideful thoughts. Just like Jesus.
But what if your marriage was characterized by the love of God? What if the way you relate to your co-workers had God’s love as the foundation? Could there be any better time than Christmas to make it so? The whole reason we celebrate is because of His love for you and me, so why not mark this year’s celebration with a new way? Why not commit to follow God’s example this Christmas to love even as He loved you?