“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us,” 1 John 3:16 says. In this week’s Saturday Session, Sam Allberry delves into this beautiful and challenging verse to guide us towards a deeper understanding of the implication of that definition for how we live our lives.
Love is essential. We do know we can’t live without it. Whatever people’s worldview, or politics, or belief system, or cultural background, everyone pretty much agrees that life is about love.
We long for love; we long to have it; we long to give it. Love is confusing; love is essential, but love is difficult.
Paul is not saying we’re entirely devoid of love. We see beautiful and genuine acts of love around us frequently. We’re just not as good at this love thing as we tend to think we are, which is why we need the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“God is love.” Now that can be easily misunderstood. Sometimes people hear “God is love,” and they assume, “well anything I experienced and interpret as love, God must approve of. If I’m feeling any kind of love, by how I define love, then God must be behind it.”
“God is love” means God knows more about love than I do. God is the one I need to listen to if I’m to understand love. God is the one I need to know if I’m ever gonna live any kind of life of love.
Obedience to God’s Word is never going to mean you end up loving less. Disobedience to God’s Word will never mean you end up loving more.
If God is love, than all He tells us to do is going to be for the sake of maximizing love in our lives.
When you encounter Jesus Christ you are no longer defined by who you love you are now defined by who has loved you
Make it Personal
Are there ways of engaging with people that appear more loving to you though they seem to be in contradiction to God’s Word? What are some of the ways in which you might struggle in this regard?
Why does who or what we love become our identities? And how is it so radically different as Christians for our identities to be shaped by who loves us?
What is the significance of “God is love” to you? And how might you share that with someone this week who doesn’t know that God is love?