God Wrote the New Book on Love
Bible Reading: 1 John 3:16
We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16
After being kicked around from foster home to foster home, Joleen finally had foster parents who cared about her. She threw tantrums, skipped school, and froze them out of her world by refusing to talk about her interests or her past. As the Murpheys continued to show her love and acceptance, though, Joleen slowly started to re¬spond. But even when she finally felt like people loved her, she still had a hard time believing that God loved her.
If the message of God’s love is strong in the Old Testament, it’s a bone-crushing bear hug in the New Testament. All through the New Testament we figure out that God is crazy about us. These are some words of care we can’t live without:
- God’s tremendous love is shown in the Bible’s most famous verse: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
- Jesus said, “The greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends” (John 15:13).
- Paul was shocked that God would love us while we were still his enemies: “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8).
- God’s sacrifice of his Son to save the sinful human race is the maximum expression of love. No wonder John cheered, “See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children, and we really are!” (1 John 3:1).
- Romans 8:35, 38-39 lists all the things that can’t separate us from God’s love.
And there’s more. We see God the Father’s love for his Son (Matthew 3:17; Mark 9:7) and the Son’s love for his Father (John 14:31). Jesus tells us that his love for us is modeled after the Father’s love for him (John 15:9). We are commanded to respond to God’s love for us by loving God (Matthew 22:37) and by loving others (John 13:34-35; Romans 13:8; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 4:7), including our enemies (Matthew 5:44). And our ability to love comes straight from God and his loving nature (1 John 4:16-17).
You can’t read the New Testament and miss God’s message of love. God’s love for us is everywhere.
TALK: What do you think of a God who heaps so much love on you?
PRAY: Pray today for your non-Christian friends who need to know God and his love personally.
ACT: Memorize one of those incredible Bible verses on love.