How do you know when you love someone? Because I believe it is not only an emotion or feeling, but also there is action required that demonstrates your love. For example, I am willing to venture that at some point in your life, someone you love deeply has hurt you in some way or another. But, if you truly love that person, you will forgive him or her. Forgiveness is the action required that demonstrates your love for that person. However, here is my dilemma: I say I love God, but I have nothing to forgive God for – Therefore, how do I know if I love God?
In John 4:7-21, John demonstrates how the love of God turns our world upside down. We can’t possibly love God the same we are called to love others! It just doesn’t work because God is without sin – we have nothing to forgive God for. St. John puts it this way: “…not that we loved God, but that He loved us…” (v.10). In other words, without the love of God, we would not even know how to love others! Think about it…our children learn to love because we first love them. They learn how to love from us!
God loves us so much that he sent His Son to die for us so that we may have forgiveness for our sins. That is pure love! It’s pure love because we have done nothing to deserve it! There is nothing that you can possibly do to pay for your sin on the cross! And, all God asks in return is for us to love others the way that God loves us. I know I love God because God first loved me.
Let us pray…Gracious God, I feel sad when I know I have not loved others as you love me. Help me to remember how much you love me by forgiving me when I fail. Give me the strength of your love even in when I have been persecuted and abused. I love you Lord Jesus. Amen.