Living a not about me life doesn’t come easily — at least not for me. I’m amazed at the self-focus that creeps in, the self-interest that rises up. When it does, I find it helpful to zoom out from the narrow perspective of my one life and think of the BIG world we live in. I visualize the billions of people that occupy this planet. I think of the many nations across it and the great diversity of the people within each one. From these thoughts, I’m reminded: As big as this world is, our GOD is so much bigger. He hovers above it. He created it all. He sustains it all.
Above all, He loves us all. The greatness of our world doesn’t compare to the massive and intense nature of God’s love. His love is extended to those who love Him, those who hate him, and even to those who don’t acknowledge He exists.
Scripture says, “For God SO loved the world…”(John 3:16). God’s love is so great that He gave His only Son for us. He did it so that the billions upon billions of us might know Him and spend both this life and eternity with Him. And in God’s glorious plan to make His love known, He’s largely chosen to do so through His followers.
Jesus gave an astounding command. Apart from Jesus, it’s a command that’s impossible to keep:
“As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
How do we comprehend such a calling, much less live it out? God chose to make Himself known through His followers as they loved people as Jesus did:
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
We’ve been called to agape love. It’s the holy and extravagant love of God. It’s the love with which Jesus loves us. The extensive nature of agape love is seen in its Greek definition: to love, cherish, esteem, respect, honor, favor, prize, relish, be devoted to.
Agape love believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. It never fails (1 Corinthians 13:7).
Stop for a minute. Think of the intense beauty and power of this love. What if you’d always been loved by others with agape love? How would your life have been different? How would be you different?
What if you loved others with agape love? Think of how their lives could be different, how you could make an incredible difference.
To give the love of God, we must receive the love of God. Recall Jesus’ words, “As I have loved you…” You’ll receive God’s love as you seek and believe Him for it. When you do, your life will display the love of God that is the very essence of the glory of God! It’s Way #18 of 52 Ways to Glorify God:
Love others as Jesus has loved you.
I encourage you to ponder the words in the definition of agape love. Ask God to reveal the nature of His agape love for you. Then, ask Him to show you and enable you to love the people around you with His self-sacrificing agape love. In doing so, they’ll know you are His disciple. There’s no better way to lift the name of Jesus high!
Leave a Reply