Love. It’s a beautiful thing but I find it gets more difficult for me to give freely give it away the older I get. I find I have to be intentional about how, when and whom I love, sometimes almost talking myself into it. I hope I’m not alone here. What makes love so difficult as we age is that we typically love with all the hurts and shames of past experiences. We lose our childlike innocence and know a little too much in some cases.
In the world today, love is becoming increasingly more difficult. Difficult to give and to receive. It’s difficult to love people who act differently, think differently and think differently. I have built up defense mechanisms, biases, prejudices and believed lies that lead me to retreat and protect myself and my family. From the struggling neighbor down the street to the homeless in downtown Westminster to the Syrian refugee crises, love gets messy and uncomfortable….and risky.
The love of God is completely unconditional, unending and overflowing. Love is the mark of a true Christian and sets us apart from others. Love is what connects us with our Creator. Abiding love is the Lord inviting us to connect with him and remain in him. It’s an invitation to not only experience his love but also know him.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
He reminds us the great extent he was willing to go to show us his love. He knew it would be hard for us to get it and it would take something extreme.
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
It’s a call to love others like he did so that our love can be perfected.
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”
And finally, a reassurance that this abiding love brings confidence that this love is eternal and our hope is secure.
“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.”
Thank you, God for your perfect plan and inviting us to love others. For sending your Son to be the propitiation for our sins and for gifting us with the Holy Spirit. Because of your great love we can have no fear.
From the archives. Originally published November 25, 2015.