- It's not our love for God but it's God's love for us that sent Jesus to be the Way to take away our sins. Out of love, God gave His one and only Son to be the atoning sacrifice (propitiation) for our sin. This is true love (agape). Agape love is unconditional, sacrificial, and selfless. God's love never depends on the receiver of the love. God loves the guilty, the rebellious, the wicked, the ungrateful, the unloving. He offered His Son to rescue us regardless of our decision to accept or reject Jesus, His gracious Gift. He did not wait for us to love Him first before showing His love to us. God loved you to death (literally) before you did anything deserving of love. Christ's death on the cross was the ultimate expression of God's love for mankind. The most glorious display of His lovingkindness!
- Since God loved us so much to the extent of giving His only Son to die in our place, we ought to love one another. Our love for one another is modeled and motivated by God's love for us. John uses the Greek verb opheilo ("to owe, ought to, be obligated to") three times in this letter (verses 2:6; 3:16; and 4:11) Do we faithfully fulfill our obligation? "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another." ~Jesus (John 13:34-35) "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law." (Romans 13:8)
- No one has ever seen God. The only way God Who is Love can be "seen" is by His children's loving one another. God's love is made complete (accomplishes its full purpose) when we love like Jesus. People cannot see God, but they can see that He is real and active in our lives when we love one another. People cannot see God, but they can see His power working within us when we love one another with agape love. "No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, Who is Himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made Him known." (John 1:18) When we love one another, we demonstrate that Christ lives in us. Christ's love enables us to initiate sacrificial, unconditional, selfless love for others before they do anything for us and without expecting anything in return. Let's live out loud the love of our Lord!
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me before I even knew You! Thank You for Christ's sacrifice for my sins! My heart is overwhelmed with Your unfailing & unconditional love for me. Please love through me...help me love others with Your agape love. In Jesus's Name, I pray. Amen.