Loved People Love People (Daily Encouragement Series)
We love because he first loved us. – 1 John 4:19
We have a saying around our house that “hurt people hurt people.” It doesn’t excuse being mean or hurtful, it just allows to have compassion towards someone who is hurtful and mean — they have been hurt and are hurting. The same can be said for loving people. Loved people love people.
Author Anne Rice was quoted as saying “Christians have lost credibility in America as people who know how to love.” Often Christians are known more for who and what we are against as opposed to love. It is all the more rampant as political views infiltrate christianity and the church during this season.
Tomorrow we will talk about the “we love” part, but we must start with the “he first loved us” part. Love is a response to being loved.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
For God so loved the world – “For” ties to vs. 15 and explains that “whoever believes in him will have eternal life.” “God”, the almighty: creator, sustainer, giver, powerful, merciful God – the one who all life is from. “So loved”, loves not moderately but massively, with compassion & affection. “The world”, in the New Testament “cosmos” is always used with sinful connotations. The good news of the gospel is that God loves the sinful world:
Every other hope is based, explicitly or implicitly, on how deserving we are. Only the Christian gospel is based—clearly, boldly, insistently—on how loving God is to the undeserving. (Ray Ortland)
That he gave his only son – God’s love is not mere sentiment, but led to specific action. God gives. He is generous. He gave his best when he sent his beloved Son to earth to live for us, die & bear our penalty for sin and rise to bring new life:
The cross is God’s glorifying rescue mission that says, “Since you cannot and will not come to me, I am coming to you because I love you!” The cross gives us an objective event that paints the love of Jesus so that the brightest colors imaginable sear our dull minds and hard hearts. (Alex Early)
That whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life – Our role: to believe inTO Him. To trust God’s love for us. To accept the free gift of his undeserving love towards us. Accepting this give results in “new birth” with a new desire and ability to love. Salvation and rescue from our sin. And eternal, true and abundant life of love with our Father.
To be people who truly love, we must start by being people who know they are truly loved. Loved people love people.