In Touch Daily Devotional 
by Dr. Charles Stanley

Friday April 29, 2005

A Divine Demonstration of Love

1 John 4:7-19

 

We all have some idea of what we think love is. But when we talk about God’s unconditional love, what do we mean?  Just what is this love?

 

We have trouble understanding divine love when we define it by its opposite—false “love,” which sets limitations and always withholds something. This so-called love clings to control and gives in order to manipulate. It is emotional detached and unwilling to be vulnerable. That is not love. If you truly love others, you love them for who they are, not what they have to give. You want the other person’s genuine heart. If you can’t love without limitation—if you must be in control and your heart’s not 100% in it—you don’t understand what love is all about.

 

When I look at the love of Jesus Christ at the cross, I see the most perfect demonstration of love to be found anywhere. The Savior showed us how unlimited His love is—He gave us Himself. He withheld nothing! (Romans 8:32) He also let go of the control that was rightly His. He didn’t give His love to manipulate us, but rather He gave us a free will to accept or reject Him.  And He loved us with vulnerability, already knowing His love would be rejected—even ignored or mocked. In loving with His whole heart, He was willing to be turned down and hurt.

 

If you want to know what love’s all about, look at the Cross. Jesus gave His best—His all—to love us so that that we could become children of God. (1 John 3:1)

 

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