As we keep journeying through the book of 1 John one of the subjects that John keeps revisiting is that a “true disciple is someone who is committed to loving others.” (1:10; 3:10-11; 4:7-8; 19-21) John keeps talking about this because it is what lays at the heart of the christian message and is what Jesus commanded his disciples to do. To love God is to love others.
But we live in a world that confuses love for sentimental feelings. And we think of love as something that just happens to us. That Cupid fires his arrow and we fall “in love” – we have no choice in the matter, we are just a victim of love. Whilest it may be true that we find ourselves naturally attracted to other people whether as friends or romantically, this is not what the bible refers to as love. Whilest natural attraction may begin a relationship it never builds lasting relationships.
To love is to choose to lay ourselves down. John uses Christ’s example of willingly choosing to give up his love for us as an example of what true love is. (1 John 3:16) Jesus’ life wasn’t stolen from him, he chose to give it up. In the same way Christians ought to willingly give themselves up for others. Now this is not easy!! It is incredibly hard and we need God’s Spirit to help us!! The only reason we can love is because we have experienced first hand being loved in this way. (1 John 4:11) And the only way we can do it is if God helps us. I wonder who God is calling you to love this week and how?
We have another Minster BBQ this Sunday, hosted by the Sharps and Edwards community groups. All food will be provided, so come as you are and enjoy some fellowship on the farm.