“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” – Romans 5:5.
What is the greatest evidence of your faith? Is it how often you pray, go to church, read your Bible, and perform other “Christian” activities? Is it an emotional response to reading scripture?
The best proof of your faith is in how you love. Love is the greatest evidence that a person knows God: 1 John 4:7-8 says, “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
Those verses point out the unmistakable connection between loving and being loved by God. It is not some flowery, sweet, and sentimental type of love, but the love that God pours into the hearts of those who follow Him.
After experiencing God’s saving grace and being made into new creations, we are commanded to reflect God’s love to others. As believers, we are ambassadors for Christ: “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” (2 Corinthians 5:20). This command is not for when times are good, but at all times Your thoughts, words, and behaviors are to be characterized and a reflection of this type of love.
While our immediate priority is toward our fellow believers, our responsibility to love doesn’t end there. The command to love extends beyond the church to embrace all people. Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians was that ”…the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows.” (1 Thessalonians 3:12).
We are born of love and created for love. From the beginning to the end God draws us to Himself and His love. Once believing and accepting His love, we discover each day the depth, width, and vastness of this love. We become living examples of God’s love. The way to reflect this transforming love is to share and reflect that love. When God’s love shines through our lives it proves to an unbelieving world that we belong to Him. Jesus affirmed this when He said: “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:35). Our love for others is a litmus test for every believer.
- Which expression of God’s love makes you feel the most loved? In which ways can you show love to the people around you?