Devotional

“But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love…We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” – 1 John 4:8,16.  

We have lived in the 20th and 21st centuries, and pretty much everyone agrees, we are living in difficult, troubled times. There is plenty of trouble and struggle to go around. It seems we’re always facing natural disasters, wars or threat of wars, famine in some parts of the world, and political upheaval. And now, of course, we have COVID-19. But we also have the love of God.  

The Apostle John’s twice-repeated statement, “God is love” is one of the strongest statements in the Bible. John seemed overwhelmed by the reality of God’s love. Over and over again, he wrote about this love because he knew that God’s love is pure, the perfect motivation. His love has power. It casts out fear and overcomes worry, doubt, and anxiety. This love is forgiving and kind. It is practical and applies in every situation we face. God’s love changes lives and is exactly what we need right now.  The world needs Christ followers loving each other in a manner worthy of the One they’re following. The world needs people to love like Jesus.

Why? Because I know it’s the best way to live. When we love like Jesus, we’re lifted outside ourselves. We put aside self-interest — with our spouse, our kids, friends, everyone. His brand of love enables us to look over the walls of resentment. When we love like Jesus, we rise above petty demands and a sense of entitlement. We stop looking inward and look for ways to put others’ interests ahead of our own. That’s the essence of the love Jesus gives and requires.

The good news is we can get better and better at loving like Jesus. We can find His love because fortunately, this love isn’t illusive. It isn’t just theoretical. It isn’t pie-in-the-sky. It isn’t out-of-reach. It isn’t reserved for more spiritual Christians.  It’s real and Jesus gives us practical steps to love in extraordinary ways in His word.

So during these uncertain times, let love guide your work, your ministry, your relationships, your studies, and your life. Invest some time in trying to grasp how wide, and deep, and high, and strong, and amazing is the love of Christ. And when you get a glimpse of it, don’t hoard it. Share it. Tell it. Live it. Demonstrate it. Let God’s love not only come to you but through you to others. Love has the ability to change lives in difficult times. So focus your thoughts on God right now. Love Him unconditionally. Thank Him for His love. And let that love flow to people all around you.

Because what the world needs now – above all – is love.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is there a difference between saying you love someone and actually loving them? 
  2. What does it mean to love like Jesus? 
  3. Which person in your life do you most want to love like Jesus? Why? And what specifically can you do today for that person?