Posts Tagged ‘Loving People


God Is Working For Our Good

There are certain verses in Scripture that get used over and over and over again. They become quite familiar to us and people love them. Typically they are promises made from God to us for our benefit. Romans 8:28 is one of those verses. Paul wrote:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, ​who​ have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 (NIV)

It is a wonderful promise that God will work all things, including trials, suffering and persecution, out for good in the end. Notice, however, that there is a qualifier to receive this promise. God is working in the lives of those who love Him. These are the ones who have responded to His call that He purposed from the very beginning. Jesus tied love to obedience. We cannot earn God’s love for us. It is unconditional. We do demonstrate our love for Jesus by obeying His command to love God and love people. Remember this – God will everything out for good in the end for His people. Someone once said that if it isn’t good yet, it isn’t the end.

How Do We Love God?

Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. So how do we do that? What is the evidence of our love for God? The Apostle John gives us a clue when he writes:

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. – 1 John 4:20-21 (NIV)

We are to love God by loving people. God pours out His love into our hearts through Jesus. We then take that love we have received and we love others in return. We love our spouses, our neighbors, our fellow Christ-followers and yes, even our enemies. The proof that we love God is how we love other people.

Let’s Love Each Other

In 1 John 4, the Apostle John is reminding his audience that God put the love He has for the world into action. He did not merely love with words. God put love into action when He sent Jesus to be the sacrifice that would take away our sins forever. So how do we respond to such love? We love others. John wrote:

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. – 1 John 4:11 (NIV)

We receive the love of God and should share that kind of love with others. Jesus said to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. The key to being a follower of Jesus is to live a life of love. Love God and love people. We can get it so wrong thinking that being a follower of Christ is all about being right. Being a follower of Christ is all about love. We love God because He loves us and because He loves us, we love others. There is no better way to live.

He Lives In Us

Do you ever wonder if you’re on the right track when it comes to following Jesus? Maybe you’re like me and you sometimes doubt whether or not God is pleased with you. Being a follower of Jesus is more than a feeling. It’s a relationship between you and the God who lives in you. Listen to what John says:

The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him,and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. – 1 John 3:24 (NIV)

When we believe in Jesus and love other people, we are obeying His command. When we put our faith and trust in Jesus for salvation and forgiveness, God’s Holy Spirit comes to live in us. His Spirit convicts us of sin and reassures us of God’s presence in our lives. The Holy Spirit is more than a feeling. The Bible says that He is a deposit guaranteeing our salvation. Listen to the Spirit today and trust in Christ and not your feelings.

The Greatest Virtue

Good Wednesday morning to you! Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13, said that three things remain: faith, hope and love. He wrote that the greatest is love. In Colossians 3, he said that love holds all of the virtues of a Christian together. He said:

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. – Colossians 3:14 (NIV)

Friends, if we are not loving God by loving others, we are doing this Christian thing wrong. We have to learn to be loving above everything else. Our kindness and compassion, humility and forgiveness have to come from a heart filled with love – for God and for other people. We cannot possibly hope to follow Jesus without love because Jesus is love. If we’re not willing to show love to people in Jesus’ name, we’ll never be able to share the good news of the Gospel with them. It all starts with love.

To Love Or Not Sin?

Romans 13:8-14 (NIV)

Love Fulfills God’s Requirements

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.”  These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

11 This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. 13 Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. 14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.

In the last half of Romans 13, Paul wonderfully sums up what being a Christian is all about – love.  When we love God and we love others (Matthew 22:36-40), we’ll keep the requirements of God’s Law.  How?  Because when we perfectly love God, we won’t sin against Him.  When we perfectly love our neighbor as ourselves, we won’t sin against them.  I really think that we put the emphasis on the wrong things in our Christian walk.  We worry so much about not sinning that we forget to focus on loving God and others.  We live our lives with a negative emphasis instead of a positive one.  Worry over sin is self-focused, but living a life of love focuses on God and others.  Do you see the difference?  Instead of turning our sight inward, it is much better to turn our sight outward and focus on love.  When we truly become people of love, we will find ourselves sinning less and less.  May your day be filled with so much of God’s love today that it overflows and pours out into those around you!
PRAYER: Father, help me to focus on loving You by loving people today. Help me to focus on loving and serving others instead of worrying about my own sins. Help me to be like Jesus.  Amen.

Being A True Believer

1 John 5:1-5 (NIV)
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Faith is essential to being a follower of Jesus.  That faith has to be more than saying, “I believe.”  It is about living out your faith on a daily basis.  One can believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God without that belief transforming their life.  This is not true faith.  Notice what John says about our faith.  To be born of God means that we love the Father and His children.  How do we know that we love God’s children?  We love God and obey Him.  Loving God means obeying His commands, which are not burdensome.  What are God’s commands?  To love God and to love people.
James said that faith without works is dead (James 2:17).  If we only say “I believe” and never live like a believer, we are no different than demons.  What did the demons say to Jesus before He cast them out of a man and into some pigs?  “What do you want with us, Son of God?” (Matthew 8:29, NIV).  The demons believe in Jesus as the Son of God.  Saying, “I believe” is not enough!  Our faith must transform our lives and cause us to become more like Jesus.  That means loving God and loving people.  Faith and obedience go hand in hand.  True faith is not just saying, “I believe.”  True faith is living out what you believe each and every day.
PRAYER: Help me, O God, to be a true believer today.  To do more than just give Jesus lip service.  To love You and Your children in the things I think, say and do.  Help me to be like Jesus to those I meet today.  In His name, amen.

%d bloggers like this: