God is love. The graphic above perfectly describes Godly love. He demonstrated this great love by giving his only Son to be sacrificed for us: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us at the cross so that we all could have a victorious and beautiful life! He was the ultimate sacrifice: All for YOU and all for ME!
6 God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. (John 3:16 CEB)
His love for us is unconditional and we can receive it by grace. This love is given to us, as a gift that we simply choose to receive. Our job here on Earth is to be sure we demonstrate the very characteristics of Jesus in each of our own lives as an example to others we encounter throughout each day. This includes every single person we encounter daily, whether it is our spouse, our friend, a complete stranger, our co-workers, our children, our parents, our neighbor, or the cashier who assists us at the store … everyone! We have to remember that love is the very foundation of Christianity, so as a Christian, we are called to love others at all times, even when it’s difficult, uncomfortable, or when they hurt us.
God actually commands us to love one another. A command is a call to action. Many are unaware, but love is an action! Sure, it can produce emotions, but overall love is something that we do. We can show God’s love in many ways including when we are not envious, are patient, kind, generous, humble, hopeful, easy to forgive, trustful of others, protective of others, and are able to endure things. Once we begin to demonstrate Gods love in our everyday lives, we find joy! The Word reminds us:
18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions (1 John 3:18 NLT)
We all have or have had people in our lives that are or were challenging to show love to at all times. So what should we do when we encounter someone who is difficult to love? We must pray for that person and pray about that situation. We can ask the Lord to soften that person’s heart so that it can be open to receive love. Then ask Him to open your eyes to be able to see different ways and opportunities where you can show love to them that will be meaningful to that person. Our daily lives are unpredictable so it is always a good practice to begin each of our days talking to God. This sets the tone for the day. During this time, we can ask God to help us to show others love in all that we do. Of course after this is prayed, we must be on the lookout for those little “windows” of opportunity to show love throughout the course of the day!
- Action Plan: Make a list of people in your life that you are having a difficult time showing love to and write down why. Take that list with you next time you spend time with the Lord in prayer and then pray for those people and about the specifics of the situations with each of them. Ask for God to reveal to you some ways that you can show love to each one of those people on your list. Write the ways down as they begin to be revealed to you and then put them into action! Watch God begin to turn those situations around on your behalf!
Additional verses for further study:
*variation of graphic above *
Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 CEB)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.(John 13:34 ESV)
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8)
We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19 ESV)
Lord, thank you for being who You are in my life. Your unconditional love means so much to me. Your love never fails and You are always there. Your grace is so sweet and I am thankful that you make it available to me continually. Forgive me Father for situations where I have not shown love. Please guide me through each day so that I am able to show others love in a way that glorifies You.
Have a great day!