God's Love Displayed in the Life of a Christian (I John 4:9-11)
I John 4:9-11, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”
G. Campbell Morgan was once at lunch with his wife and his five sons who were also preachers. A friend asked them, "Who is the greatest preacher?" In unison the six men said, "Our mother." Mrs. Morgan's life affected others more than any sermon her husband and sons had preached. Because we are Christians, people will watch us. They will watch how we live and what we let affect our lives. Many times, they will judge Christianity based on our lives.
How did God so love us? God loved us selflessly, sacrificially, sincerely, steadfastly. All throughout the Scriptures, God speaks of His love for us through His Word. He proved His love to us when He sent His only begotten Son to die on Calvary. If God had not taken the initiative to bring about our salvation, no one would be saved. Romans 3:10-11, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” But God’s love was so great that He sent His Son to be the sinless sacrifice to purchase our redemption. This is the foundation of our salvation. God did not wait for mankind to come to Him. He sent His Son to seek and to save us. Jesus left Heaven and sought after the lost so that we could have a restored relationship with Him.
I John 4:11 tells us that we are to love one another. Christ does not give us a list of requirements someone must meet in order for us to love them. He does not command us to love only those who love us. He tells us to love one another. This means everyone. No matter what someone has done to us, we should love them. God's love for us does not depend on our love for Him; He loves us whether we obey Him or reject Him. Even so, we must not base our love for others on their love for us or their attitude toward us. We must love them as Christ loves us.
Romans 5:5 says, "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Of our own power, we would not be able to always show God's love. Yet through the empowering of His Holy Spirit, we can even show love to those who mistreat us. Not only does Christ desire for us to love others, but He desires for us to let His love flow through our lives. God is invisible, but we as His children are visible. While some may not read of God's love in His Word or see His love on Calvary, they may see it through us as believers. The only way some people may see the love of Christ is through our lives.
Questions to Consider:
How would someone judge Christianity based on your life?
Are you letting Christ's love flow through you?
Or will someone never see the love of Christ because of your life?
Points to Ponder:
John says that the logical progression and response to God’s love is for us to love one another.
We are challenged to put our love on the line.
Ask Christ to give you the strength to love those around you, and let His love flow through you today.
PRAYER: Thank You for bringing me into a relationship with You through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help me to never forget the price and the power of His cross. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.