Love People – Part 2 (Daily Encouragement Series)
In part 1 we talked about being loved by God – to be people who truly love, we must start by being people who know they are truly loved. Loved people love people. It is God’s love that compels and calls us to love others. Yesterday we saw that God “so loved” that “he gave” to bring “life” (John 3:16). In response, we are compelled “to love” through “giving” which brings “life”.
God loving us – the underserving – compels us to love the undeserving. We often make the case to not love others because they don’t “deserve it”. They haven’t earned it. They are not “like us” or maybe don’t believe what we believe. They may even be against us. The good news of the gospel reveals that God loved and loves us when we didn’t deserve it, hadn’t earned it, are not “like” him, didn’t believe in him and were against him. He loved us anyway. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). Luke 7:47 says “…her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” The greater we understand God’s love for us, the undeserving, the greater our love will be for others, even the undeserving.
God giving us all things – including His Son – compels us to love through giving. We talk about “love is the process of meeting needs”. It is tangible. God displays his love through giving us all that we need, so we can love through meeting the needs of others. Eugene Peterson lays out that giving is how the world is made to run, giving is the “style of the universe”:
“Some things we have a choice in and some things we don’t. In this we don’t. It is the kind of world into which we were born. God created it. God sustains it. Giving is the style of the universe. Giving is woven into the fabric of existence. If we try to live by getting instead of giving, we are going against the grain. In face, we do see a lot of distorted, misshapen, crippled lives among those who defy the reality that all life is given and must continue to be given to be true to its nature.”
Loving is true life and brings true life. Loving people is not a punishment but is what it means to live true life. Jesus said, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39). “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). As followers and apprentices of Jesus, we know that true life comes from laying down our own life for the sake of others. A life of sacrificial and loving service of others brings that which is truly life. There is joy, freedom and purpose in a life of loving others.
In response to being loved by God, we are compelled and called to love others through a generosity that brings true life.