Read 1 John 4:7-21
You don’t have to ask the typical parent to love his/her child. It seems to be natural and inherent to the relationship. And it manifests itself as a powerful emotion that causes the mom or the dad to grieve in sorrow or to swell with pride depending on the situation. But more than an emotion, it is often a conscious action that involves the sacrifice of time, energy, and resources for the welfare of the son or daughter. Love is both a verb and a noun. It is both a feeling and an action. It is both an emotion and a decision.
Though it is inherent for parents, it is still imperfect. While it may seem almost natural in some relationships, every relationship requires that the believer tap into supernatural resources to love the way we should. Let’s make several observations about this love we are to demonstrate.
- Love is commanded (vv. 7, 21). In every relationship, it is a verb as much as a noun. It is something over which I have some control. It is something I can actively do.
- Love is an indicator of a genuine salvation encounter with God (v. 8). Believers have the capacity to love because of what they have experienced. This is not to say that we always do it perfectly. If that were the case, there would be no need for the command!
- Love is at the core of God’s attributes. He is love (vv. 8, 16).
- Love was demonstrated by God in Christ (vv. 9, 10). This is the supreme example. God not only lovingly sent his Son into the world, but the Son also gave Himself willingly and sacrificially for us!
- Love is motivated by what we have experienced in Christ (v. 11). Having been on the receiving end of boundless, unconditional love, we should pass it on to others.
- Love is a manifestation of the invisible God (v. 12). Even though no one has seen God, His existence is made clear in the love that believers demonstrate.
Those of us who are part of Christ’s unstoppable church are to demonstrate that kind of love for each other!