Beloved, Let us Love One Another:
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:7-11).
For the past week or so, we have been beholding—taking a look at—the kind of love the Father has lavished upon us, that we should be called the children of God. But what does it mean to be a child of God? How are we to live in this world as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father? The answer is found in today’s Scripture in First John chapter four. We are called to be people of love. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35).
Today’s Bible verses command us to love one another because love is of God. When we walk in love, it shows that we have been born of God, and know God. Love is the first fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. How can you tell if someone has been born of God, and knows God? Look at how loving they are. The depth of a person’s relationship with the Lord Jesus is directly proportional to how loving they are with other people. John gives us a challenging word in this Scripture here! He says that if we don’t love other people, then it shows that we don’t know God, because God is love. “If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we have not seen? And God himself has commanded that we must love not only him but our Christian brothers and sisters, too.” (1 John 4:20-21).
Today I want to challenge you—as indeed I am challenging myself—to be a person of love. How are we supposed to love one another? Jesus said to love one another with the same kind of love that He loves us—totally, unconditionally, accepting one another, forgiving one another, serving one another, bearing one another’s burdens, and praying for one another.
Allow me to close today’s devotional with some thoughts from Pastor Jerry Cook, from his book Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness:
“Love means accepting people the way they are for Jesus’ sake. Jesus hung around with sinners and if we’re too holy to allow people to blow smoke in our faces, they we’re holier than Jesus was… When love, acceptance and forgiveness prevail, the church of Jesus Christ becomes what Jesus was in the world: a centre of love designed for the healing of broken people, and a force for God.”
Ghandi said, once, “I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.” Church, we need to change that. To be a Christian means to be like Christ. Beloved, let us love one another.
Pastor Chris Jordan