“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”–1 John 4:7–10
Love—true, godly, sacrificial love—is not a natural human response to others. Many “love” because of what they receive from someone else, yet that is a far cry from the kind of love the Bible commands us to have toward each other. In truth, loving people who are cranky, selfish, demanding, and stubborn (as all of us are from time to time) is not an easy thing. Yet it is what God commands us to do. Such love is not produced by our efforts to change the way we think or feel toward others. It is certainly not based on what they deserve or on what we feel. Love is produced by the Holy Spirit working in our hearts and lives.
Loving others starts with our love for God. He is the source from which our love flows. Just as the moon has no light of its own but reflects the sun’s light, when we love others we are simply expressing the nature and character of God to them. When we fail to demonstrate this kind of love to each other, we are missing the most powerful demonstration of our commitment to follow Him. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).–Daily in the Word