Marked By Christ's Love
"In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" 1 John 3:10-17
Do we really love God? Are we marked by love? Is love the chief characteristic of our lives? Love proves that one understands the love of Christ. Jesus Christ laid down His life for us:
- When we were still powerless, totally unable to help ourselves or to save ourselves
- When we were ungodly
- When we were sinners
- When we were enemies of God, rebelling, cursing, neglecting, ignoring, denying and rejecting God
Despite all this, Jesus Christ died for us. He took our sins and the guilt for them upon Himself, and He paid the judgment for them. Jesus died for us. Why? Because He loves us; He loves us enough to die for us even when we oppose and do things against Him.
The point is this: if we love God, then we follow His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ. We love people just like He did; we love them even when they oppose and do things against us. Love also has compassion and gives to meet the needs of people. No matter what we profess, think, or argue, if we are not actively helping and giving to meet the needs of the desperate and needy in our communities and in the world, we do not love God. In fact, love is the proof that we really understand the love of Christ. If we love those who do things against us then we know the love of Christ. If we can help and sacrificially give to meet the needs of the oppressed, then we know the love of Christ.
God loved us: He gave all that He was and had to save us. Therefore, we must love others: we must give all that we are and have.
- Do you believe that you are marked by love?
- Do you have an understanding of the depth of God’s love for you? How does that overflow into your daily life decisions?
- What can it look like for you to love those who oppose you? To love the less fortunate in your community?
Other verses: Romans 5:6-10, Romans 13:8-10, John 13:34-35