There’s something powerful about a bubbling spring in the mountains that flows into a river. The spring is a life-giving source to everything that it touches. A spring flows, creates a river, and makes a lush environment filled with health for everything around that river.
1. God is the spring from which life-giving love flows.
God is the source of love, because His heart is love. All that He does is born from love, and He transplants that same love into us. But if we do not know God, then we won’t have that life-giving love.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7–8, ESV)
Because God is love, His nature of love abides within us. The way we honor and glorify God today is to love others the way that He has loved us. When God’s love is the key ingredient for our relationships, then His love becomes a life-giving spring which creates love in our hearts for others.
2. The command to love.
Jesus tied loving God to loving others in an immediate, exquisite way. This became the signpost of His followers and the way of life for them.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40, NKJV)
So, if we’re going to grow in Christ as His followers, we need to get a handle on loving others. We’re going to obey God’s command to love others sacrificially, just as Jesus has loved us.
3. Life-giving love is unselfish sacrifice.
Love is unselfish sacrifice for the sake of someone else. This is the DNA of a follower of Christ. It is the core curriculum of those who have been made alive in Christ. As children of God, we are going to love one another.
“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:9-11, NKJV)
Jesus handed Himself over as the sacrifice to so that we might live through Him. The love that we are to imitate is self-surrender. Jesus loved with passion, and it led Him to die upon a cross for God’s glory and the salvation of sinners. This is the love that we must display for the world to see and others to experience.
How can we possibly love like that? The key to loving others the way God has loved us is not our ability, but it is God’s love in us. One of the reasons we live un-lovingly toward others is because we fail to immerse ourselves consistently in the love that flows from God toward us. If we’re going to have healthy relationships, then we need to saturate our soul with God’s life-giving love.
Stop. Take a breath. And pray:
“Father, nourish my soul today with Your love so that I can love others the way that You have loved me.”