We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion – how can God’s love be in that person?
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings and he knows everything.
1 John 3:16-20 (emphasis mine)
There is one major theme that I pulled from this passage of Scripture.
Real love is an action, not a feeling.
Jesus gave up His life for us, SO we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters (1 John 3:16, emphasis mine).
The principles Jesus taught are contrary to the way our world works.
- The world says we should look out for #1—ourselves.
- Jesus says that “there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13)
Often when we are called upon to help someone in need, we are looking at how it will help us—maybe we will get paid, or receive accolades/glory, or it will give us something to boast about to our family or friends. In other words, we are motivated by selfish desires rather than by love. But Jesus’ way says that serving others should come from a selfless, sacrificial heart. The closer we can align our heart with His by reading His Word and letting Him change us, the easier it will become to love others the way He loves us.
It is worth repeating that we absolutely cannot do this on our own. We need God to help us love others like He loves. We must ask Him to help us.
As Christians, we carry a huge responsibility—to show and to share the truth of God’s love to the rest of the world (Matthew 28:19-20). This is an incredibly difficult task when the world wants us to be like them—talk like them, act like them, and just “fit in” with them. But Jesus calls us to be different. His ways do not make sense to the rest of the world. Followers of Christ should be known for the way they love—without judgment, criticism, or selfishness, but with compassion, selflessness, and sacrificial giving.
Let’s act on this selfless love that was so graciously poured out on us.
Heavenly Father, thank You for showing us what REAL LOVE truly is. Thank YOU for sending Your Son. Lord, we want our actions to show that we truly love others. Provide us with opportunities to pour love onto others this coming week. If we are struggling with this concept, Father, we ask that You help us see where we are having trouble and to help us work through it. Lord, we know that Love comes from You and we love because You first loved us. Thank You for that, Father. It’s in Jesus’ name that we pray, Amen.
Do you struggle with the idea of “giving up your life for your brothers and sisters” or “laying down your life for your friends?” What do these passages mean to you? I encourage you to read them for yourself and see what the Lord reveals to you as you work through this concept.
If you would like to send a private message to Jennifer in regards to this blog post, you may send it to: Jennifer@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com