My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!
—I John 4:7-12 (MSG)
I can’t make myself love as God loves me. But I can allow Him to change me so His love grows in me. God’s love was born in me when I first believed in Christ, and it transforms my life and gives me an intimate relationship with Him. But if I refuse to love—if I refuse to forgive, then I don’t know the first thing about God, and I damage my understanding of who God is. My relationship with Him is hurt.
God loved me enough to send His Son, Jesus, to die for me. The grace of Jesus gives me the ability to love others unconditionally. I choose to forgive and never hold a grudge—and to think of others more highly than myself. When I surrender to God’s love, allowing the grace of Jesus to change the way I think, the love of Jesus defines me. I discover that my human love is nothing compared to His.
Though I have never seen God, His love is in me. When I love with the love of Jesus, God reveals that He owns me—spirit, soul, and body. His grace completes me. I am in Him, and He is in me.
“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (I Thessalonians 5:23-24, NIV).
God sanctifies me through and through—spirit, soul, and body. He perfects His love in me. The one who calls me to love is faithful. And He will do it.
© 2020 Lynn Lacher