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Understanding God's Love

Read This: “I give you a new commandment – to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples – if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Think: God loves you. Maybe that’s hard for you to believe when you stop and think about it. Or maybe you’ve heard it so many times it doesn’t have much effect on you anymore. But God’s love is unlike anything this world can offer. When we begin to understand how big God is, how small we are, and how much he loves, our lives are radically transformed.

The Greek word for God’s love is agape, which is perfectly described in I Corinthians 13:4-7. “Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

God’s love is intentional and active, not based on feelings or circumstances. He loves us completely, eternally, and relentlessly. He checked the box before you wrote the note. When we get beyond our insecurities, our guilt, and even our pride that we can somehow earn God’s love, then we can receive it as the perfect gift it is. Embracing God’s amazing love for us gives us the freedom to love others the same way through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Without God it is impossible to agape others—at times we will become impatient, our love will be self-seeking, and our love will fail. Only God’s divine love working through us has the power to love when everything in our human flesh tells us to give up or run the other way. And yet that is the love the world so desperately needs—a love that checks the box wholeheartedly every time.

Ask: Who has been the best reflection of God’s love in your life? How does your love for others match up to the description in I Corinthians 13?

Pray: Thank your heavenly Father for loving you so much—be honest if you struggle to embrace that and ask him to help you work through it so that you can be a vessel of his love to others.