Monday, December 10, 2018
1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.
I know, the gift of love wasn’t on your list either. There’s a reason I didn’t originally include it. When I did my research, I looked for all the uses of the words gift, gave, or give in the New Testament, and they are never used in the same verse with the word love except in John 3:16, which speaks of God’s gift of His Son as a result of God’s love for us. So I didn’t include love as one of the gifts.
But then I started thinking. God is love. Jesus is God. When God gave His Son Jesus He gave His love to us. The gift of love needs to be on the list.
Romans 5:5 God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!
1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
Look at he truths we find in these verses:
- God poured out His love into our hearts as a gift to us.
- He lavished His love on us.
- We can only know what love is by seeing it modeled in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins.
- True love only comes from God.
Did you know that the word love is used 200 times in the New Testament alone? It is elevated in importance above faith and hope when the Apostle Paul says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
We are commanded to love God above all else in our lives, and to love others with the same intensity.
Love is the visible testimony of one’s relationship with Jesus Christ.
No matter what skills we have, if we do not act in love we accomplish nothing of real value.
No matter how much faith or knowledge we have, if we do not act in love we are considered arrogant and relationally worthless. Even acts of kindness and sacrifice are meaningless if they are done for personal gain and not out of true love for others.
True love is patient and kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
The challenge is that we are to love one another as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us. That requires the same sacrifice Jesus made – to give up self for the sake of another.
May God bless you as you become the giver of the greatest gift given to us – the gift of love!