Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
– 1 John 4:11 NASB
God loved us enough to come and live a complete – if not lengthy – human life. It was not an easy life. Jews lived under the heavy heel of the Roman Empire. You know the story of Jesus’ humble birth. Growing up in Nazareth was not considered “cool” – it being the first-century equivalent of “Hicksville.” Being a carpenter was not easy work, but then neither was His itinerant ministry. In short, God could have chosen the life of a prince in a palace for Himself…but He didn’t.
Since Jesus died at roughly age 33, it’s clear He could have enjoyed married life for 10-15 years before His crucifixion. However, He chose to forswear marital bliss just as He had forsworn palatial living. Knowing His end, He did not want to leave a widow and orphans…especially so young.
With all His miracle-working power, you’d think Jesus would have worked some of those miracles just for the purpose of making His own life easier…yet who can think of one miracle that would fit into that category? Every miracle He did was to help someone else, to meet the needs of those around Him.
At the end, of course, He endured rejection, humiliation, whippings, and torturous death through Roman crucifixion. From beginning to end, it was not an easy life.
Why? Why did God come to earth? Why did He choose to live such a hard life? To make a point. And the point was that…He…loves…us. Not just you. Not just me. Not just the guy behind the tree. Us.
Through His life as Jesus, God was demonstrating the truth that love suffers. Love endures. Love is not easy. Love pays a price – sometimes a very heavy price. And love never fails. Love keeps on keeping on.
If God so loves us, the apostle John says above, should we not also love one another? Shall God love us to the point of death on a cross while we hold our sins against each other? God forbid!
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Heavenly Lord Jesus, in the light of Your love for us, help me to show love to everyone in my life today. Forgive me for not doing so before, as I forgive them for not loving me as they should have. Let me love them today even if it seems that none of them are loving me…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.