Tuesday, May 19

Our new identity is built on love

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.   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.   Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 1 John 4:7 – 13

We are God’s children through the saving grace of Jesus. That is our new identity: child of God! As we see in today’s Scripture, this new identity includes the call to love one another. What does that love “look like” since our identity is from God? “ God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world…” This love is a giving, willing to sacrifice love.   Thus, with our identity in God, we imitate his love. Every day, moment by moment, in every decision and conversation the goal is that we love as God loves. Sometimes it is easy… “Oh, I just have to love people” (insert butterflies, flowers & happy emojis). Sometimes it is very hard... “OH, I HAVE TO LOVE PEOPLE!!@!@!@!”

How would your life look if you continually asked: how is God wanting me to love in this situation?  There is a significant change of mind when you imitate the love of God in your relationships and attitude. It’s not the sort of change that is easy or is ever complete. Thus, these words are very encouraging: “ And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us.”  It is the power of God’s Spirit in you that enables you to live out this new identity as one who loves.    When you are in a disagreement that is leading to anger, it is the Holy Spirit’s voice that calls you to listen more and not insist on your own way. When you want to judge others but step back from that judgment to try to understand and help, that’s God’s Spirit working in you. When you think before you speak and don’t tear a person down but rather raise them up, that is God’s Spirit in you.  

Prayer: Heavenly Father, you created this world in love, and loved this world so much that you sent your son.  Thank you, God, for giving me your Holy Spirit who is working in me to help me love as you love. Let the song of your love fill my thoughts and be demonstrated in my words and actions.  In Jesus name I pray. Amen.