Today I want to come back to a statement I made a couple of posts ago, namely that without Jesus it is impossible to live a life of love. We must experience God’s love first hand before we can share God’s love with others. In other words if we have never received God’s love, we simply can’t share what we don’t have with others. 1 John 4:19 says “We love because he first loved us”.
Our ability to love comes from God’s love for us. The only way that we can live in His love is to experience His love firsthand. And there’s only one way to experience his love — through the free gift of his grace. God’s love is something we can never, ever, ever, ever, ever earn or deserve. It is available in one format: as a free gift—never as a payback for our goodness, never as a reward for our hard work, but only as a gift.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
God loves us so much that He sacrificed His son in order to make things right, in order to offer us forgiveness of sins. God loves us so much that He sent His son into the world so that we might have the power to live through Him. God loves us so much that He has removed all fear of judgment and condemnation, and He has given us the kind of love that casts out all fear. God loves us so much that He has put in us His Holy Spirit to enable us to love others as He loves you. Each of us must believe this central message of the Bible: God loves you.(period) Let that truth penetrate your heart and your heart will unfold to love God. As John wrote in 1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us”.
Shortly after the earthquake in Haiti made a bad situation even worse for the people of Haiti Jonathan, Andrew, and Michael, three of my young grandsons, got up early on Saturday morning not to watch cartoons but to go stand in the freezing weather to sell hot chocolate to raise money to feed the children of the devastation in Haiti. They raised almost $200, enough to feed almost 100 children for 1 day. They don’t know anyone from Haiti. They probably don’t even know where Haiti is. They do know that God loves them. I doubt they know that 1 John 4:21(NIV) says “Whoever loves God must also love his brother”. They just love because they are loved and they know God loves them.
God loves YOU. Go and love because you are loved. I pray for the day when we are so convinced of God’s love that we open the Apostle John’s exhortation in 1 John 4:18 “My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s do it”.