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Teach Us to Love

“And do everything with love” (1 Corinthians 16:14, NLT).

As believers, the love of God flowing through us is to be the motivation for everything we do. We give sacrificially, serve relentlessly, and minister compassionately, all because of love. With that in mind, consider the following verses. Then at the end, join me in a prayer.

“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. Let love be your highest goal” (1 Corinthians 13:13-14:1, NLT)!

We may aspire to many things, but nothing compares to allowing the love of God to work in and through our lives. Expressing love has powerful, eternal results.

“God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them” (1 John 4:16, NLT).

Love is intrinsic to who God is. It defines His nature… His character. Loving is not something He does; it’s who He is. The Trinity is bound together with love, and if we are to be godly, we are going to learn to love, too.

“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you” (John 15:12, NLT).

Jesus wants His people to possess the same love that He modelled. Though divine, He gave up His rights and privileges as God because of His great love for us. In so doing, He showed us how we can truly love each other.

“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’” (Galatians 5:13-14, NLT).

You do not show love by making people serve you; you show love by serving them. In fact, if you lack the heart to serve, then you are not really a loving person. The love of God inspires acts of loving service.

“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).

You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. Real love compelled God to give sacrificially, and it compels us to give sacrificially, too.

“And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world” (1 John 4:17, NLT).

When we love, we live like Jesus. When love motivates us to action, we are living like Jesus. When we are willing give of ourselves sacrificially, we are living like Jesus. When we submit ourselves to the transforming power of the love of God, we become more like Jesus.

Real love begins with God. Genuine love for everyone is a natural outcome of knowing God. As we grow more and more in love with Him—and allowing Him to change us from the inside out—our hearts will resonate with His heart, and our love for others will grow exponentially.

Prayer:

Father, every time we look at the Cross we are reminded of the extent of Your love. We know we didn’t deserve it, we know we were the cause of Your heartache and pain, yet You loved us anyway. While we were sinners living far from You, you died for us. Your love is amazing, and we are so grateful that you so freely shower that love upon us.

Our prayer is that you will enable us to love others with that same love. You’ve called us to possess that kind of love, but the truth is, we need Your help if we are ever going to love like that. You are love, and we can’t fully love without You.

So Lord, we ask first that You will make love the norm in our homes. Help us to be patient, kind, tenderhearted, faithful, and forgiving toward each other. May our words be loving and not harsh. With our spouses, with our children, with our parents… allow the love of God to flow freely in our homes.

Then with our friends… our neighbours… our coworkers… teach us what it means to really love others as ourselves. We so easily get caught up in our own lives that we neglect those around us; don’t let us be like that. Teach us instead to be generous and thoughtful, to perform acts of love and compassion, and to give freely of ourselves even when it involves sacrifice.

May this be true even when it comes to loving the unlovable. Enable us to express Your love toward those who do not love us in return—those who we might even consider to be our enemies. You loved the very people who nailed you to the cross; empower us with a love like that.

Lord, You are love, and we are called to become like You. That’s our desire; that’s our prayer. Make us more like You so we can love like You.

We pray all this in the powerful and loving name of Jesus. Amen.