“We love each other because he loved us first.” (1 John 4:19 NLT)
What does loving somebody mean to you personally? Is your loved based on the love of God? From where do you get the motivation and the inspiration to love your fellow-believer? Is your heart open for them when they seem to be far away from the love of Christ? Does your heart break when some believer is being criticized and insulted before others? Do you rejoice in their blessings and cry along with them when they are in despair? This is the essence of true love. Love consists of togetherness and it’s all about sharing in the joy and sorrow of each other. Love is never self-centered. It goes deep into the other person’s life and enjoys spending our valuable time and resources with that person.
When you love someone intentionally, your love isn’t authentic. There is a vast difference between the kind of love this world offers and the love which comes from God. “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” (1 John 4:9, 10 NLT) Got the point? God’s love doesn’t expect anything in return; but it flows into the lives of those who surrender to love others in like manner.
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And we have this command from Him: the one who loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4:20, 21 HCSB). Many believers are obdurate when it comes to the matter of loving each other unselfishly. They cannot make up their mind to share and spend their belongings when one Christian brother or sister is in dire need of something which they can provide for them. Many Christians have become self-focused and it has become hard for them to come out of this attitude. In light of this truth it is crystal clear here that if we fail to help our fellow believers in times of need, we do not really love God.
“And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34, 35 TEV). Let us absorb the fact here that if and only if we succeed in loving each other unselfishly and unconditionally can we be accepted by our Lord as His disciples. True Christianity is all about adoring and worshipping Christ by reflecting His nature to a dark and broken world. And we know what His nature is for He is love.