Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 26, 2016

Great Chapters in the Bible — I John 4

Day 2404:  Today’s devotion – LOVE!

Scripture:  I am to love others, for love comes from God.  Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God, but those who do not love do not know God, because God is love.  God showed how much He loved me when He sent His one and only Son into the world that I might live through Him.  I John 4:7-9

Thoughts/questions:  Another characteristic of God.  These past few days have declared the Lord to be God; good; greater than all else; and now ‘love.’  And those who follow Him are to be His instruments on earth to demonstrate expressions of His love to all they encounter!

These verses gave me a lot of trouble when I first read them in my early twenties.  I knew people who had zero involvement with God, but showed ‘love’ more than many of the people I knew who called themselves Christians.  I remember saying that the phrase ‘anyone who loves is born of God’ was an error in the Bible as it was obviously not true! It was only when I learned that what we translate ‘love’ in English comes from 4 different Greek words – 3 of which appear in the New Testament.  After understanding the word ‘agape’ translated love here, I realized the truth of these verses.

Love is the distinctive characteristic of the relationship Christ followers have with everyone.  But there is a cost to this love, as it is an exercise of the will and a deliberate choice.  God demonstrated this exercise of the will by loving (agape) us enough to deliberately choose to send His Son for us.  His example is our guide!   We can love in this manner, because He first has shown us how.

I am to love others – not to have a ‘good feeling’ towards those we might even regard as enemies – but to act in a loving way towards them.  Agape love is our goal in regards to even the most difficult relationship.  With whom are you having relational challenges?  Seek to (agape) love them, and look for opportunities to demonstrate His love through you to them!!!

Suggested prayer:  Father God, help me to truly love like You do.  Thank You for Your love for me . . .

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