When we think of the ultimate example of sacrificial and unconditional love, we see the sinless Jesus dying in our place so that we might have life.
John 3:16 is said to be one of the most read verses in the entire Bible which reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
It is a compelling invitation for the world to know and understand the depth of God’s love for each one of us, and a simple invitation to receive His love and be assured of eternal life with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit forever. It requires us to simply believe; believe in the One who sent Jesus and believe in Jesus so that we might be saved.
If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9).
Rich or poor, young or old, this invitation is open to every man, woman, and child in the entire world. That’s how much God loves you and desires you to be part of His forever family.
As a little girl, I remember a plaque that hung in our kitchen with 1 John 3:18 inscribed on it: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” It served as a daily reminder to live and walk in love like Jesus did.
We are Called to Love
We have been called to love. Our priority is to love; love God and love people. But Jesus instructed us further that we are to love our enemies. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:44-45).
The Challenge: Love Your Enemies
We are not only commanded to love our enemies and pray for them but do good to them. I don’t know about you, but in my own strength, this would be inconceivable. Jesus continues with laser beam focus and exhorts that there is nothing special about loving those who love us. Even the world does that. In other words, Jesus raises the bar to His standard of love and demands we do the seemingly impossible: love your enemies, do good to them and expect nothing in return. Then He says, “Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High.” Jesus is challenging us to love exactly as He loved when He walked this earth. And so together we pray, “Empower me to love others the way you love me.”