God never intended us to be merely recipients of His love.
“Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).
God never intended us to be merely recipients of His love. Love thinks of others. “God so loved the world that he gave...” This is the first verse most of us memorized. Here is the exciting news of the Gospel. Jesus’ love now resides in your heart. Paul put it this way; “God has poured out his love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit...” (Romans 5:5). This love is not content to sit idly by. It is looking for a way to flow out of you into the life of someone else. He wants to use you to pass His love on to others. This just makes sense doesn’t it? “Since God so loved us,” John wrote, “we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).
Loving others is one way that God assures our hearts that we truly belong to Him. John explained it this way: “Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7). You can’t pass on the love of God unless you have been born again and know God. Loving others is proof that you belong to Him.
It is also the best defense for the Gospel. A whole branch of theology called apologetics is dedicated to the defense of the faith. Certainly, there is an abundance of evidence, hard core facts that make a solid case that Jesus is who he claimed to be and that he indeed was raised from the dead.
But there is something even more convincing, something far more powerful. Jesus spoke of this to his disciples the night before he was crucified. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:33, 34). Loving others is evidence that the Gospel is true.
Paul made this statement in his letter to the Galatians: “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6). Our faith in Jesus Christ is expressed in love to others. This is what counts, nothing else. John gave these commands: “Believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another as he commanded us” (1 John 3:23). This is the Christian life. All of these passages lead to this staggering truth: God uses us to show the world what love is.
The love of God is not something you can produce through human effort. Jesus made this point abundantly clear. “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” Only as you abide in him, like a branch abiding in the vine, will his love flow through you. As a believer, you are attached to the vine, and nothing can separate you from him. You will never be cut off. His life flows through you. And the same love he directed toward you can now flow through you into the life of others. That’s the greatest joy you can experience and it fulfills your highest calling.