The point of God’s love is to remake us into loving people
Love’s ultimate beginning is found in God. It is part of who he is. Therefore, any expression of love comes from God. In 1 John 4:8, it says that "God is love." A simple definition of God is, "The God of love."
The Bible is an account and revelation of God’s unconditional love. If we want to experience God’s love we should read his words to us.
God’s ultimate act of love was to send Jesus to die and rise again so that we could have a right relationship with God. Love by definition is not something we earn. It is given without expectation of repayment. We have not done and cannot do anything to compel God to give His love. God desires for all people to respond to his love. However, he does not force us into a relationship with him.
The point of God’s love is to remake us into loving people. Our journey is not simply about being loved by God but becoming like the Father who loves others. We are to "be compassionate as your Father is compassionate." (Luke 6:36) Our love of others is the acid test of our love for God.
Mark 8:35 tells us that love is setting aside our life for another. Love is radical, costly and selfless. This is how God loved us and how God wants us to love others. That is why Colossians 3:14 says, "and over all these virtues put on love, which binds then all together."
We often love when it is convenient, when it is easy, and when we are happy. Thinking and focusing on ourselves is not God’s plan for our life. The only way to truly care for ourselves is to love others. For this is where the deepest fulfillment in life is found. 1 John 4:7 tells us "everyone who loves is born of God and knows God."
Love is what makes us human. This is the core task of all humans. We should be growing in our capacity to love. If we are not, something is wrong. As God’s heart becomes our heart, we should expect that his love of the world will become our love.
When a teacher of the law asked Jesus what the most important commandment was, Jesus replied by saying, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might and with all your strength. The second is this: love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."
Josh Mulvihill is middle school pastor of Autumn Ridge Church.
Pulpit runs on the Saturday faith pages and features reflections from area religious leaders. To contribute, contact Local News Editor Mike Klein at 281-7481 or email@example.com.