Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:38

Loving Others

Written by  Pamela Boswell, Eastwood Counseling Center
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Jesus broke all the law down to--

love God and love others.

On our own, we could not--so He

did it for us.

We love Him because He loved us. We can love others because of His love for us.

 

 

“We love because he first loved us.”

1 John 4:19

 

 

s a response to and from the overflow of God’s love for us, we are able to love others.  Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love” (John 15:9). Again He said, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).  And using more emphatic language, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34). As clearly as this is stated in the Bible, we know it is the goal.  Many times, however, we may desire to love others, but find it difficult. What can we do? It can be as simple as reminding ourselves that God loves us, searching our lives for what we may be loving more than Him, and then we are able to love others by loving Him better.

 

Do you know that God loves you? Can you say, “God loves _________  (insert your name)?” If you find this hard to do, go to the Word and see what it has to say about God’s love. “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).  “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2).  “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace comfort your hearts...” (2 Thessalonians 2:16).  “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

 

Do you find it hard to believe that God can love a sinner like you? Read  Luke 7:36-50. Jesus tells a story of debt being forgiven and explains that those forgiven much, love much. “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven--for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” In the last recorded prayer Jesus made the night He was betrayed, Jesus prayed that you would know that the Father loves you (John 17:23). And nothing you do or anyone else does can separate you from that love. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:35-37).

 

So, the issue here is not whether or not God loves you. We have seen in Scripture there is no doubt of that. The question is, do you love Him as you ought to? Do you love Him with all your heart? What competes with your love for Him? Is there something that is so important to you that you are willing to sin to get it or sin to keep it? Is there something that you depend on for comfort and security more so than God? Is the praise of man more important to you than the praise of God? The Bible addresses these heart issues. To the rich young man, ”Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ (Mark 10:21).  It was said of the religious leaders during the ministry of Jesus, “For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God” (John 12:43). Use Scripture to discern your thoughts, ask God to reveal your desires, and notice what things seem to upset you the most. This will give you an indication of what is competing with God’s rightful place in your life. By loving God better, you will be able to love others more. Realizing His great love for us and the daily forgiveness and mercy that is ours because of a loving sacrifice, how can we not forgive and love others better?

 

This month there is a lot of talk about love. You can see pink and red in all the stores. The hearts, balloons, cards, candy and flowers will all be cleared from store shelves by mid-day on the 14th, but without the love of God, through the Holy Spirit, the ability to love others is a mere shadow of what it can be.

 

 

Last modified on Monday, 10 February 2014 15:42
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