January 13

There is one thing that human beings cannot manufacture by themselves.  That one thing is love.  It is important for us to realize that you and I are basically selfish beings.  If we had our way, everyone would agree with our opinions; every restaurant would serve our favorite food; our favorite sports team would always win; everyone else would wake up at the time we think is best and go to sleep when we thought it best.  We are basically selfish people.

In order to love, we must be taught.  I John chapter four is a great chapter to understand real love and where it comes from.  Check out these verses: “He that loveth not knoweth not love; for God is love” (I John 4:8).  There it is!  The only way for us to really love is to know God, because God is love.  The only way that a basically selfish human being can truly love someone else, is to completely surrender to God … because we can only truly love when we know Him.

Beloved, if God so love us, we ought also to love one another” (I John 4:11).  I love the power of the simplicity of the Word of God.  It makes total sense to me that if we are following God, we will love others like He does.  Consider a few questions here … when was the last time your heart was broken for a friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor who was struggling with a health issue?  When was the last time you were moved to tears over the soul of someone you know who is not saved?  When was the last time you loved someone without expecting any payment in return?  If God loves us this way, we should also love others that same way.

We love Him, because He first loved us” (I John 4:19).  Notice the progression of this chapter with me quickly.  We know what love is when we meet God and He gets a hold on our lives.  Knowing that God is love and that He loves others motivates us to love as well in obedience to Him.  And now we realize that in loving others, we are simply carrying on the ministry of Christ following His ascension into Heaven.  I am reminded as I read these verses that Jesus told His disciples, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).  Does your love for God show in your love for other people?  If we are truly His disciples, we will have love that sets us apart from the rest of this world.  Look for those people today that others have missed, and love them like God has taught us to love.  It will bring a smile to the heart of God! “Don’t love things … love people.” – Dr. Ted Camp

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