According to the book and movie Love Story, “love means never having to say you’re sorry.” A chart-topping pop song declares “love hurts.” If popular entertainment is any indication, we are obsessed with love. One researcher asserted that 60 percent of songs in the modern era were devoted to the subject of love and relationships.
Today’s passage defines love from God’s perspective. John explains that being loved by God shapes our behavior. John says love can be a gauge to reveal if you know or do not know God. If your life is marked by hate and disgust for others, it indicates that you do not fully understand God’s love. God demonstrated His love to us through His Son Jesus, and by sending Him into the world as an “atoning sacrifice” to pay for our sins (v. 10).
We were not deserving of that gift. This act of God’s love should produce results in our own lives. It should change the way we act toward others. God’s love “is made complete in us” (v. 12). This does not mean that God’s love is lacking but that others can more fully experience God’s love through us. When God’s love changes our hearts and behaviors, others get a glimpse of who He is and how He loves. Certainly, this should affect the way we live.
Fear has no part in love (v. 18). The atoning sacrifice of Christ has removed fear from our lives. We no longer fear judgment. We can face the future without fear of failure. Finally, we are only able to love because we have been given the supreme example. “We love because he first loved us” (v. 19). As God’s children, we should reflect through our lives what He has modeled so clearly for us.
Will you pray for Moody Radio’s programming team: Chris Papendick, Daniel Anderson, Dan Craig, Danielle Kerschhackl, and Deborah Solomon? Thank God for their contribution to the creation and development of Moody Radio’s programs.