The beautiful truth: love involves sacrifice. And God exemplifies that sacrifice. He continually gives to others and seeks their benefit. And because He so beautifully loves us, we can lavishly love others.
In 1 John 4:7-10 NLT, we see simple instruction about loving others:
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
That last phrase “sacrifice to take away our sins” is the Greek word hilasmos, which means a sacrifice that bears God’s wrath and turns it to favor or appeasing.
Read these amazing words about what love truly is in three phases, while thinking of three different people:
- Someone you dearly love
- Someone who is an enemy
1 Corinthians 13:1-8 MSG
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies.
Here’s a quick post I wrote assuming positive intent in marriage.
Jesus gave us what to do: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.” Mark 12:30-31
Where the Mark passage came from:
- The Shema: “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:4-5
- “You must not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people, but you must love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:18
Now rest here: YOU ARE WILDLY LOVED BY YOUR CREATOR. In order to love others, you must FIRST be LOVED. Friend, you are beloved.
We cannot give away what we do not have. While it’s true that hurt people hurt people, it’s sweetly true that these phrases are also true: Valued people value people. Healed people heal people. (Click here to read the entire life-giving list).
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I listened to episode 5 of the Uncaged Podcast & learned better how to love. Click to tweet.