“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV
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. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us… And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 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. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first. 1 John 4:7-19 NLT
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” John 13:34 NLT
The greatest and most radical virtue given among men is love. Because love is the manifest energy and expression of God in creation. The Bible reveals the unfailing love of God on every page. God graciously plants this beautiful virtue in the heart of every person and, by His Spirit, leads us to love Him and love each other. Everyone can love. But love is truly animated and brought to its full purpose and expression when we are in Christ.
And this is the essence of love, that everything we do and say would be for the well-being of others. To love is for the energy of our lives to be spent in acts of selfless, genuine goodness for other people and for creation in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. That is how God loved us first, by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us while we were still sinners.
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8 NLT
Jesus describes the radical, disarming power of love in the Sermon on the Mount. “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48 NLT
Dear one, loving with God’s love, being truly ‘others focused’ in all we do, and seeking good for all in every circumstance and blessing them in the name of God, will cause our prideful flesh to rise up and scream, “Me first!”, or “Not them!” Ask Jesus for strength, practice love through giving, learn the discipline of fasting, pray. God will help you love from a pure heart because that’s His plan — to reveal His risen Son to the world at large, that is, every single person on the planet, through the selfless goodness of people like you, loving them in Jesus’ name.