We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 1 John 3:14 (NIV)
Our love for one another is the fruit, not the root, of our relationship with God. John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, taught that our love for others emerges from our relationship with God; that anyone born of God who knows God will love with the love of God (1 John 4:7, based on NLT).
In a sense, the process of sanctification – our movement toward becoming portraits of Jesus – involves God-Love cleaning the clutter we’ve hidden in the cupboards and corners of our being. The Eternal Lover moves with deliberation through the grit and grime of our sin. He throws open the shades and wipes down the windows of our souls until we “shine like stars in the universe” (Philippians 2:15 NIV).
As God scrubs our insides with the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, we pass from “death to life” (1 John 3:14). We are transformed from people who are selective in who and how we love into people energized by God’s spirit to love one another abundantly and unconditionally.
It takes faith to love another with the God-Love flowing into us. Like Peter, we step or swim when we keep our eyes on Jesus and not the stormy waves of human emotions. Human love fears the water; God-Love walks across the waves with such confidence and grace that the storm is quelled.
Love starts with God – God loved you first, and your ability to love others comes from your connection with God. God loved you; now, you love others, and that allows others to see God in you (1 John 4:11-12 NIV).
Love in you proves Jesus in you – When you love others abundantly and unconditionally, you prove you’ve passed from death to Jesus-life. It proves you’re now alive and connected to Jesus through the Holy Spirit (1 John 3:14).
Jon Walker’s new book is Breakfast with Bonhoeffer:
- “Best Christian book this year!!”
- “Amazing vulnerability, I could not put it down!”
- “Practical, painful and true.”
- “This is a real life book about the trials we face in an evil world.”
- “Unique writing style and perspective on living out the Christian faith ….”
- “One of my favorite books of the year.”
This devotional © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.