“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:12 NKJV)
Usually when I think about love, the first thing that comes to my mind is that love is a feeling. But this is erroneous thinking, for God’s Word consistently demonstrates that love is so much more than just feelings. It is an action. A choice.
In 1 John 4:12, John reminds his readers that although no man has ever seen God at any time, He manifests His love through people that are being used by Him, for the purpose of loving others in a way that only God could love. This is a very different kind of love that the world is accustomed to. This is righteous, unselfish love in action that is meant to draw people closer to God. It demonstrates to an unbelieving world that God is very real. This type of love draws people closer to Him.
This makes me think about the way I choose to love people. Am I loving people with unselfish motives that are focused on bringing glory to God or am I loving others so that they love me back? Am I hungry for the love of the world or am I more hungry to experience the love of God more deeply and intimately and share the love of Jesus with the world?
I must be honest. Absolutely, I want to be loved. But as I grow older and as God matures me, I am learning that what the world thinks about me is really not as important as I make it out to be. The bigger question, and the far more important question, is what does the world think about Jesus when they interact with me?
The other day, I came across a quote from an unknown author that I think is so true! It says this: “At the age of 20, we don’t care what the world thinks of us; At 30, we worry about what it is thinking of us; At 40, we discover that it wasn’t thinking of us at all.”
It is not about me, nor was it ever about me. I am to love others by sharing the love of Jesus with the world. The world is starving for love, but it is only the love of Jesus that will satisfy their starvation. I must love my Father, obey Him, and love His people for the purpose of making much of Him and Him alone.
Perhaps if I love people with the purpose and priority that God desires, then they will be able to see God as He longs for the world to see Him.
Lord, your Word is so rich with such important lessons! The more time I spend meditating on your Word, not only do I realize that I need to do it more, but the more I learn what it is you are thinking. The more I love your Word and your teachings, the more I can feel your heartbeat. And, oh Lord! How I long for my heart to beat in rhythm with yours!
God, I have such a long journey to travel. I am so far from being the man you desire me to be. Hy heart is wayward. I am human. I am too often focused on what is in it for me instead of focusing on making things about you. And Lord, I feel you teaching me that making things about you is really what’s best for me anyway!
Lord Jesus, I love people only because you loved me first. You already demonstrated your awesome love for me in that while I was still dead in my trespasses, you have made me alive together with you! The single most important thing I need to live for is YOU! I must learn to take up my cross, die to myself, and love all people in the world the way you long for me to love them. But Lord, this task seems so big and so overwhelming to me, but I will walk by faith and not by sight and trust that all things are possible with you by my side.
Teach me how to manifest your love to a world that so desperately needs to know you. Show me how to love people like you have loved me. Help me to show the world how wonderful you are. Manifest your love in me. Make much of yourself by taking this existence and using me.
I absolutely love and adore you with every fiber of my being. I am overwhelmed by how truly awesome you are and my greatest desire is to learn to love you more and praise you and worship you forever. Thank you for being the joy of my life. Thank you for being my anchor and support. Thank you for making my dreams so beautiful and thank you for being my reason and purpose for living. Thank you for being my God!
I love you, Jesus!