By This We Know Love

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1 John 3:16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.

I remember years ago after I first heard the gospel. I was listening to a sermon on Luke 9:23-24 when Jesus was telling his listeners how to become one of his disciples. He said “if anyone wants to become one of my disciples, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” As I listened, I wondered how it could be possible for me to deny myself to the point of giving up all of my own dreams and desires for Jesus. How could I change my own heart and want to live for him. As an un-believer, I had no desire to do what Jesus wanted. How could I now after hearing this sermon change. To me, it was like I was suppose to wake up one morning and crave a bowl full of slimy mushrooms when I hated them the day before.

It seems to me that we would not truly know what love was without the knowledge of Jesus. If I were living in a time period before the cross and was asked how to define love, I would be lacking an example I could point to. I guess I would have described it as a feeling and not so much as an action.

The good news is that we are living in a time period we call 2018 A.D. By “this” we know love? Yes, by knowing that Jesus laid down his life for us, we can “know” what love is. Love is not only giving up all that you are, and all that you can for the sake of another; but actually wanting to do so for the sake of bringing glory to God. And if we find ourselves today believing God’s message of the gospel; then we ought to do the same as our Savior and lay down our lives for others. Oh we can’t give ourselves up to forgive another person’s sin. But we can do it to show another the kindness and mercy of God.

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