In dramatic fashion, Jesus demonstrated what it means to love completely in John 13. Even before His death on the cross, the disciples would experience the full extent of His love. Despite knowing that He would be betrayed by one, denied by another and deserted by all His disciples, John tells us that Jesus loved them to the very end.
It’s easy to wonder where God is when we are hurting. Our pain can deceive us into thinking that somehow God has abandoned us. Even the heroes of faith in the Bible questioned where God was in times of suffering. King David, who wrote most of the Psalms, cried out, “My eyes fail, looking for my God … Where can I find Him?”
As you grow in your faith, is your love increasing more and more? Christian circles can often elevate knowledge over love, charisma over character and the gifts of the Spirit over the fruit of the Spirit. We may impress people with what we know, but we influence them with how we live.
Love came down to lift us up. When David encountered God delivering him from the hands of Saul and his enemies, he said, “… You stoop down to make me great.” Psalm 18:35b David experienced the love of God coming down. His life was transformed by that love, and he was never the same.
The Bible says, if we want to love like Jesus, we must keep company with Jesus. Loving like Jesus is the consequence of learning a life of love by observing how He loved. His love is more caught than taught.
How did Jesus love? His love was a love with no strings attached. It didn’t matter the response of the individual or their worth, status or nationality. He loved everyone! His love was unconditional. In fact, there is nothing we can do to make God love us more and nothing we can do to make Him love us less.
Love not only has good intentions, but real love is intentional. When we believe the lie that love is just a feeling, we’re deceived into thinking that love is a reaction. The truth is that love is more than a reaction; love takes initiative.
We’ve all heard it, and most of us have said it at some time. Many know it by heart. Some call it The Lord’s Prayer or The Model Prayer. As familiar as this prayer may be, how often do we really consider what we’re saying? Do we really want God to answer the part where we pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”?
President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Knowledge may impress people, but love will influence them. That’s the value of love! Love is superior to knowledge, faith, sacrifice, and achievements. Without love, none of these great qualities will leave a lasting impact.
It’s been said that people won’t remember what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. That’s the power of love! God not only loves, but God is love! In Him, we have the capacity to love like He loves.