God Is Love

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The love of Christ compels us to love one another. And when we do, it will point others to God’s love and the story of His Son.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8

To tell someone that something they made is tasty, adorable, or genius, often leads to a story. For some, the story of their handiwork stems back to an original idea. For many their inspiration came from imitation. They saw it on Pinterest, a blog, in a magazine, on TV, or heard it from a friend.

When it comes to imitation, the primary characteristic that God wants us to replicate is His love. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:1).

That’s a tall order! God’s great love is higher than the heavens! It’s lavish, abounding, unfailing, and has no end. It’s high and wide and long and deep, and nothing in all creation can compare to His love or separate us from it.

This is the love we are to imitate. “As I have loved you, so you must love one another” –Jesus. (John 13:34)

Jesus laid down His life. God becomes greater and we become less when we lay down our lives for one another (John 15:13). Christ-imitating love sacrifices time, resources, and sleep. It gives up personal plans for the sake of others. It lays down the desire to be heard so longer and better listening can take place. It relinquishes revenge, is quick to forgive, and shreds all records of those who have wronged us. It serves without expecting anything in return.

Jesus loved His enemies. God becomes greater and we become less when we love those who are downright difficult to love. This is our story. We were His enemies who betrayed, denied, and crucified Christ. Though we didn’t love Him, He loved us. Through no merit of our own, He called us His own. Think about it. He showed love to the one He called “not my loved one.” And those He called “Not my people,” He made them His people–children of the living God (Hosea 2:23, Romans 9:25-26). Do we love like this? Do we love the one who makes life miserable at work, cuts us off in traffic, and makes sarcastic and cutting remarks at the dinner table or in the church parking lot?

Christ’s love compels us to love one another. And when we do, it will point others to God’s love and the story of His Son. Jesus laid down His life for His enemies so they­–so you and me–would not perish but live with Him forever.

How can you imitate God’s love today?

The first command in Ephesians 5 tells us to be imitators of God by reflecting the way He loves us. Our love for others flows out of our sense of being deeply loved. Chip Ingram


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