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Monday, June 24, 2013

Living Life Through Love

Knowing God Through Love

1 John 4:7-21 NKJV

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who
loves is born of God and knows God.

8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 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.
10 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.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Seeing God Through Love

12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

The Consummation of Love

17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
19 We love Him because He first loved us.

Obedience by Faith

20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God
whom he has not seen?

21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

Jesus; Our Example

Love is something that can be seen. It is seen in the fruit of the Spirit working in our lives, in our behavior and how we treat people. Love has many facets, or different ways we can see it. For example, when a diamond ring is held up to the light, it can sparkle in various ways depending on which way it is turned in the light. I believe love also sparkles in different ways depending on how we look at it.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 gives us examples of the many facets of love:

Love endures long, it has the ability to put up with stuff for a long time.

Love is never envious, it doesn't want what it doesn't have.

Love is not boastful or vainglorious, it doesn't call attention to itself.

Love is not conceited or rude.

Love doesn't insist on its own way.

Love pays no attention to a suffered wrong.

Love never gives up!

These are just a few ways we're supposed to love others...and it's also the way God loves us. First John 4:8 says that "God is love." He loves us and has saved us, so now we can share His love with others. Obviously; at some point in our lives we are going to happen upon some people that just make it difficult to love them. They are going to wrong us, gossip about us, say things that are not true or just be mean for the sake of being mean. Still; we must love them and be an example to them of what living a life of love is all about. In other words; we have to be the bigger person.

To imitate God, we have to look at Jesus, a perfect representation of God who lived out all of the descriptions of love in 1 Corinthians 13. He always acted in love in every situation, even when people came against Him. He always showed loving kindness towards everyone but He was not their doormat. He showed them the example of treating people with love, with respect, with dignity and with grace and then He moved on.

Colossians 3:12-14 says to "clothe yourselves therefore, as God's own chosen ones.... And [put on] love"....

Like Jesus, let's clothe ourselves in love and choose to follow His example, bringing honor and glory to God. People may not always respond in kind to the love you have shown them but at least you can move through life knowing that you set the example of how they should be living. Plant the seed of love in others. Then leave the watering and tending to God. Amen?

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