Tuesday’s Column: Dale Mail
Jesus loves us and that truth is found all through the Bible. The Bible teaches us to love others like Jesus loves us, but that’s only helpful if we understand the implications.
“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love.”
I John 4.16
Piecing Together Bible Principles
- Unnatural? This love calls us to live in a way that’s completely unnatural since it involves living through the eyes of everybody else. It’s the proper placement of “self” on the bottom shelf (John 3.30).
- Rejection? In some circumstances, this love may demand the rejection of warm and friendly feelings for the call to act in a Christ-like sacrificial way. That love can prove to be a painful practice at first, but those pleasant feelings of gratitude and joy come when we learn to appreciate what He did first. Our selfless Savior was unbiased in His death for all mankind and that’s difficult to imagine.
- Discipline? Love means discipline. When it comes to our personal dedication to the practice of that love, we must be disciplined. When God disciplines us, He means to refine so that we can enjoy a more intimate relationship with Him.
Love Looks Like This
If we wish to love like God we must put others before ourselves. We must call out sin. We must speak boldly in the defense of Him. Love means proclaiming to the lost the message about the God who made Heaven and Hell.
Putting The Summary On Simmer
To love Jesus and to love like Jesus are two connected ideas.
“But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” I John 4.8
You can’t say you love Jesus if you don’t love like He does. You can like Him, and He’ll still love you— but only loving Jesus leads to life after death.
Loving someone occasionally means begging them not to make poor decisions, but allowing them to do so. If and when the pleas are ignored, it pains us to see those we love hurt themselves.
The ability to understand and experience emotions of such complexity must be part of our godly imaging. That’s something which is ingrained within all of us.