Bible Verse: “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10
Scripture Reading: 1 John 4:1-21
Who would not like to have the ability to express love in a perfect way? We all know that it is one thing to love a person, but having the ability to show and manifest our love to that person in a way that he or she can understand and receive is not that easy.
Perfect love, the agape type of love that the apostle John has been presenting to us through his letter, is spiritual, unselfish, and giving. Today, we will analyze the visible picture of this kind of love in action that John is “painting” for us.
First, it is all-giving. This means that when I give love, I do not expect anything in return. Giving can be a manipulative tool. We give to get. That kind of love is phile, not agape. The good news for Christians is that this kind of love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Our responsibility as Christians is to simply release the Spirit that lives within us.
Second, it is sacrificial. John shows us that sacrificial love carries the meaning of doing something practical for our brother when he is in need (1 John 3:17). Of course, this need was a physical need. At this point, John takes it to another level to address our spiritual needs. Jesus became the “sacrifice” for our sins. He took our place at the cross, broke down the wall that separated us from God, bridged the gap, and reconciled us to our Creator. Jesus laying down His life for us – that is divine, perfect love.
May God give us the grace to allow His perfect love to shine through us and touch those lives who are desperately seeking love in the wrong places and people. Let us be instruments of God’s perfect love everywhere we go!
— Dr. Dave Anderson, author of Maximum Joy