03 Dec 2018
One of the most memorable verses in the Bible is John 3:16:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
The theme of God’s love and grace toward undeserving sinners runs throughout scripture, especially in the New Testament. His love is always practical in its manifestation. It is not just words or sentiments, but action; action that ultimately sent Jesus to the cross to bear God’s punishment in the place of a guilty world.
What does He require of us in return? Jesus spelled it out when asked this question:
“…‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37-39).
And here’s the challenge: we are not only to love God with all our being, but to show deep, selfless love for others (some of whom we may never like)!
John writes to the Church of his day:
“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).
One proof of us having accepted the saving love of God is that we unconditionally love others. What a challenge! However, John makes sure we understand what he is saying when he goes on to say:
“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).
Pause and reflect: How often do we say that we sympathise with others without giving practical help? What if Jesus had not demonstrated His love in the way He did?