This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16)
We cannot overstate the importance of love. Love will save the world, overcome all hurts and heal all wounds, but love needs to be shared.
How do you make someone love you?
And the answer is… you can’t. Not even God can make someone love Him because, if He did force someone to love Him, then it wouldn’t really be love. The best that God can do is create an environment where love may exist and then love unconditionally.
God’s love is not like the counterfeit versions offered by the world. More than an emotion, God’s love reveals itself in action. We see God’s active love in three ways. First, God loves us by providing all that we need for daily life in this world. Second, God loves us by rescuing us. On our own, all humanity is lost and condemned. But God the Father sent His Son Jesus into the world to save us from sin, death and condemnation. Third, God loves us by giving sacrificially for us. God the Son, Jesus Christ, set aside the riches and glory of heaven to enter into this world and die a horrible sinner’s death so that we can have forgiveness, salvation and life through Him.
There is no doubt about it, we are loved.
How can you make someone love what you love?
Again, you, I and God cannot. All we can do is love and hope that, as people fall in love with us, they will begin to love what we love.
Imagine being a single parent who wants to find a life partner. We want to love, and there are people who might love us in return, but will they love our child too?
God’s love does not end with us. He not only loves us, He also loves every other person in the world, even those lost and condemned souls who chose not to love Him. But will we let God love us so much that we love those whom He loves?
After telling the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus said, “…there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent” (Luke 15:7). Do we share in heaven’s joy over one sinner who repents? In a podcast I listened to recently, a speaker said that the Christian Church in Canada is in its current sorry state because we have forgotten our passion for lost people.
How do we make ourselves love lost people?
We can’t. It is only when we remember the peril of being lost and the greatness of God’s love that love for lost people begins to grow within us.
Jesus showed us what love really is: He emptied Himself for the sake of others. By immersing ourselves in Jesus’ love, His love transforms us from being people who are centred on ourselves to being people who love those whom Jesus loves. Living by faith, we believe that we already have all the love that we need in Jesus; therefore, we have been freed to love as He loves: by emptying ourselves for the sake of others.
Love will save the world.
In Christ’s love,