We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. — 1 John 4:19-21 (NIV)
As Christians, we are called to love. To love God and love our neighbor and even love our enemies. In the church, we are called to love one another. Jesus said in John 13:34-35 (NIV), “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” It is our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ that sets us apart from a world of hatred.
Everywhere we look, we see hatred and rejection. We see it along political lines. We see it along religious lines. We see it along idealogical lines. We see it along family lines as spouses fight and siblings fight and parents fight with their children. There is so much hatred and fighting in our world and no one wants to love anyone anymore. We all crave love and it is in such short supply. That’s where Christ’s church comes in.
We are to be the love supply for our world. To bring peace between God and humanity by proclaiming love demonstrated on a cross. To bring love to those who need it by unconditionally welcoming and accepting those who need to be touched by God’s grace. My prayer is that Christians in America will be stereotyped, not as hypocritical and judgmental, but as the most outrageously loving people on the planet! Gossip and backstabbing will be no more! Rejection and hatred will be done away with! Forgiveness, mercy and grace will rule the day!
To paraphrase John’s words in the passage above, how can we say that we love God if we don’t love His people? We’ve never seen God yet we claim to love Him. We see each other all the time, but unconditional love for one another is not in us! It doesn’t make sense! Let us demonstrate our love for God today by loving, forgiving and accepting one another in Jesus’ name.