7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
10In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
This is why I enjoy going verse-by-verse in the Bible. I’m sure at least the devout Christians reading this was nodding their heads. I was. I read it thinking, “I already know this,” and smiled haughtily, as if it’s not something I need to read again. I wonder if I will remember this verse next time I get angry…
Let me ask you something: do you know anybody who loves absolutely nothing or nobody?
If God is Love, the originator of love, and the reason we are able to love: then every Atheist is a liar. I mentioned in my study of Romans that even “unbelievers” make a choice not to believe. That everyone has the choice. You see, we are made in God’s image. If He is love and we can love, in at least some capacity, it just proves that He exists and we are of Him.
Not only this, but He also showed us the ultimate love, witnessed in His sacrifice. Throughout the bible there are many times when someone has tried to explain what the true nature of love is. For me, I think the true nature of love is sacrifice. Whenever I am in a situation where I think that I am “doing the right thing” or that I’m justified in my behavior, I first look to see if I am acting out of love. My check and balance for this is to recognize if I am sacrificing anything. So far, with 100% accuracy, I can tell that if I am not sacrificing anything, I’m not really loving.
Sometimes we look at sacrifice as a grand event, especially as Christians we compare sacrifice to Christ on the cross. Think about what we can sacrifice out of love: comfort, our own way of thinking or doing something, time, energy, money, sleep, vulnerability, etc. Those are the things that just came to my head, but there are many more. Maybe we can start a list to examine in our own lives.
What are you sacrificing today in order to love someone else?