Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. —1 John 4:8-10
11 Apr, 2022
We can’t get enough of it. We write songs, poems, plays, movies and books about it (apparently there are more than 100 million loves songs recorded to date!). We talk about it all the time and we even have a whole day dedicated to it every February! But for all the ways we sing and talk about love, do we really understand it?
How would you define love? Is it based on the love we receive or have received from others in our lives? Have we conformed to a cultural expectation of love, taking our cues from the movies we watch or the books we read?
1 John 4:8 declares that God is love. In other words, as followers of Jesus, we understand love by looking at the character of God––He is love. If God is love, then it is also God who defines love. What does that definition look like? The apostle tells us that this is love: even when we had no love towards God, He showed His unrelenting love for us through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. This is love in action.
God is the very definition of both the noun and verb of ‘love’. A love that is life-changing and eternal.
A love that Maria encountered at Easter.
Maria was 12 years old when she decided to attend an Easter camp organised by one of Compassion's child development centres in Tierra de Cosecha, El Salvador. With a face full of joy, she describes how one of the important days in her life took place at camp. After a devotional and worship time in front of a campfire at night, Maria and her brother José were among five teenagers who stepped forward to receive Jesus as their Saviour.
“I remember that I was so concentrated on the worship, then after listening to the story of Jesus’ sacrifice I reflected on His love, and then I felt in my heart that I needed to receive Him as my Saviour,” says Maria.
After Maria and her brother understood and believed in Jesus’ love for them, they began to share Jesus’ love and the good news of the gospel with their parents as well.
Precious moments like Maria’s salvation—and, indeed, ours—are only possible because of the love of God. God restored our hope through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice so that we could share in His glory forever! We do not define love through our human experiences or cultural cues but by the perfect love God poured out to us through Jesus. This is love, and as followers of Jesus, we are all recipients of His love.
Like Maria and José, we too get to share God’s love with those around us. We “love our neighbours” just as Jesus commanded us to (Matthew 22:39). As we live in God's love and live out His love, we are witnesses to others of the restored hope we have found in Him.
God is love and He loves you!
Reflect on specific moments in your week when you experience the love of God. Perhaps it's a moment of peace amid stress, through the thoughtful act of a loved one or the beauty of a sunrise.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You are love and that You have shown me what love is. I pray that You open my eyes to the world around me and show me how to love like You. Please help me to live in Your love and live out Your love to those You place in my path. Amen.
Find one way to show love to someone in the lead up to Easter. Make it practical—take a tangible step.
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