Real Love

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

I Jn 3:16

Today 62% of adults will celebrate Valentine’s Day. Hey, let’s face it, even the children will be celebrating Valentine’s Day.  We learn of this holiday while we are children – instructed to buy valentine’s cards for our classmates. Today you will look for some show of your loved one’s affection – candy, flowers, or a gift. It’s that time of year when we require that they prove their love for us in a tangible way.

John, in the previous verses, has laid out his argument for the family of God to love one another.  However, he makes it clear that we can only fulfill this love because we have the perfect love – perfect sacrifice – perfect example of agape love ever – Jesus laid down his life for us.  Since one’s life is an individual’s most precious possession, Christ’s willingness to lay down that life on behalf of others constituted the greatest possible expression of love[1]

John finishes the verse by saying that the ultimate way we can show this same type of love is to lay down our lives for our brothers.  WOW! What does that even look like?  We quote a lot of scriptures about loving our neighbors and loving fellow Christians but we rarely hit the end of this sentence – loving our brothers enough to lay down our lives for them!  Surely, there may not come a time when you will have to physically lay down your life for someone else.  However, I think the heart of the matter is that we must sacrifice all for the sake of our brothers and sisters.  Giving of ourselves, putting our brothers first, that’s what laying down your life looks like. If we are going to love like Him, we have to look like Him.  Take the moment out of this Valentine’s Day to extend your heart and share your love with someone else – not just to your loved one, family member or person you have asked to be your valentine! The best, loving way you can show your love and especially the love of Christ is to love on someone else – just as that same love has been demonstrated to us through Him. That’s what true love looks like!

Happy Valentine’s Day!’

c/Candie A. Price

[1] Daniel L. Akin, vol. 38, 1, 2, 3 John, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001), 159.

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