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251: We Love Others Because God Loves Us

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Advent is a time for us to renew our love for God. This week on Battle Drill devotionals we celebrate the One who “came down at Christmas” to take the initiative of loving us first.

Read 1 John 4:7-21. What’s your purpose in life? Jesus says it is to love God and love others.

Jesus was once asked what the greatest commandment was that God had given his people:

Matthew 22:37–39 NLT

Jesus replied, “ ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

That sounds impossible, especially when you consider that Jesus suggested everyone is our neighbour! There is no way I can always and for ever wholeheartedly love God, and there is even less chance of me being able to love everyone, especially at this busy time of year! But that kind of love – other-oriented, self-sacrificial, choice-based love – comes from God first. God loves us first, and that gives us the power to love others.

So, in order to be able to love God with all our heart, soul and mind and to love our neighbour as ourselves, we first need to understand just how much God loves us. But it’s not enough just to read about his love for us. It’s not even enough to think about how much he loves us, or to talk about it to other people. We need to truly experience his love for us.

When we can feel just a little of how much God loves us, then we can begin to truly love others. We won’t get so irritated by them. We can stop being frustrated when they don’t behave in the way we want them to behave. We can show love and grace to them. This Christmas and beyond, let’s live as people who know we are loved by God and risk loving others with his love too.

THINK IT OVER

Think about the following:

•          In what ways could you love others with God’s love this Christmas?