Loving Others Like Jesus Loved

1 John 4:7-8 ESV

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Loving one another appears to be the topic of late in several of the writings the Lord Jesus has given me to write. And it is a very important topic for us to learn about, for we need to learn how we should love one another. For many people today are teaching a humanistic kind of love which is not the love that we are to have for one another. For so much of that kind of “love” is based in one’s emotions and in how others make them feel or in how they make others feel, which can then be based in wanting others to like them.

But this kind of love talked about here is not based in our feelings and emotions or even in ourselves. This love is from God, who is love, and it means to prefer God, and to prefer what he prefers. And what he prefers is what is righteous, holy, honest, trustworthy, faithful, pure and moral. And so we embrace his divine purpose and will for our lives, and we want to do what pleases him, because we love him. And so we learn how he loves so that we can love others as God/Jesus loves us.

Now, when this says that whoever loves has been born of God and knows God, this is not speaking of human love. This is speaking of the love that comes from God who is love. And again, when we love with this kind of love we embrace God’s will for our lives, and we prefer to follow him in his ways and in his righteousness. And then we read in the New Testament that to love and to know God is to obey his commands (New Covenant), and that if we do not obey him we do not love him and we do not know him. And if we do not love with this love, we do not know God, because He is love.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 8:51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:10; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Rom 12:1-2; Tit 2:11-14; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:1-2; Jas 1:21-25; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Php 2:12-13; Jn 10:27-30; Acts 5:32]

1 John 4:9-10 ESV

“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Okay, so this is where we get a really good picture of the meaning of love, the love that comes from God who is love. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Begotten Son (Jesus Christ) to die on a cross for our sins, that whoever believing (present active) in him might not perish but have eternal life. And here is where we need to define what it means to believe in Jesus, for this is not about just saying some words after someone else in a prayer or just making a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ.

For faith in Jesus Christ is not of ourselves, of our own doing. It is gifted to us by God for it comes from God (Ephesians 2:8-10). Jesus is the author and the perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2) so he is the one to determine what this faith should look like, and not ourselves. And we can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ (John 6:44), i.e. unless he persuades us as to his divine character and will, and of our sinfulness, and of our need to repent of our sins and to obey God.

And faith in Jesus Christ involves and requires both repentance and obedience to the Lord Jesus (1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Eph 4:17-32; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Lu 9:23-26; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Matt 7:21-23; Matt 3:8; Matt 4:17; Matt 11:20-21; Matt 12:41; Matt 21:28-31; Mk 1:15; Lu 5:32; Lu 13:3; Lu 15:2-8; Lu 24:47; Acts 3:19; Acts 5:30-32; Acts 8:22; Acts 11:17-18; Acts 17:30-31; Acts 20:21; Acts 26:20; Rom 2:4; 2 Co 7:8-10; 2 Co 12:21; 2 Tim 2:24-26; 2 Pet 3:9; Rev 2:5; Rev 2:16; Rev 3:19).

For why did God the Father send Jesus (God the Son) into the world? That we might live through him. He sent Jesus to die on that cross to take upon himself the sins of the entire world and to put our sins to death with him in order that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Peter 2:24). And Jesus died that we might now live for him and no longer for ourselves (2 Corinthians 5:15,21) and that we might now honor him with our lives (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). And Jesus died to free us from our slavery to sin so we would now be slaves of righteousness, and so that we might live holy lives pleasing to God (Romans 6:1-23).

And when Jesus walked this earth, how did he show God’s love to the people? Yes, he healed their diseases and their afflictions, and he fed the hungry, and he delivered people from demons, and he raised the dead, and he comforted the sorrowful. But he also taught repentance and obedience to himself as required by God for eternal life with God. In fact, he said that not everyone saying to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father (Matthew 7:21-23).

1 John 4:11-12 ESV

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”

So, if we are to love one another as God loved (and loves) us, yes it will mean us being kind to people and doing good for people, especially for people who are in need. And it will mean feeding the hungry and providing necessities of life for the needy, and us praying and believing God for healings, and us bringing comfort and encouragement to those who are hurting or lonely or to those who are being hated and persecuted because of their walks of faith in Jesus Christ and because of their testimonies for Christ and for his gospel.

But it will also mean that we will share the truth of the gospel of Christ with others, in its fulness, and not this half-truth (lie) gospel that many are teaching today which requires no repentance or obedience to our Lord. For Jesus never sugar-coated his gospel message. He talked straight up when he told people not only of the cost of following him and of being one of this disciples, but also of the cost of not following him and of not walking in fellowship with him in repentance and in obedience to his commands. Thus, if we don’t repent and obey him, we do not have eternal life in him.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Jn 3:17-21; Matt 7:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Brighten the Corner Where You Are

By Ina Duley Ogdon

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar;
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
Let not narrow self your way debar;
Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!

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