But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. John 15:12
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Romans 5:8
“Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.” Chrissy – age 6
“Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.” MaryAnn – age 4
Unconditional love is a concept children grasp but as life gets more and more complicated, as hurt and betrayal twist and distort our perception of love, the whole idea of it – unconditional or not – is obscured.
God’s love says, you have my love freely – with no conditions, requirements, terms or specifications – in fact, without you doing anything. This unconditional love He has for us (you!) was in motion even while we wanted nothing to do with Him. Paul says that while we were sinning against Him, God loved us. He gave us Jesus, the one thing most precious to Him. While someone is sinning against you, do you love them? Would you give them the most precious thing you have?
When Jesus says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”, He isn’t talking about doing whatever is needed to appease someone, an obligation done with a cold heart. Rather, He’s stressing the importance of offering His type of unconditional love in our relationships. Think of it as wholehearted love. Wholehearted loving because we want to offer it, without expecting anything in return. To be honest I can’t do this in myself, but I love a God who CAN do this in me – because He loves me. Unconditionally. So today, give someone your French fries without making them give you any of theirs!
Prayer of Response:
“Father, I think of your boundless love, freely given, and I’m humbled. Take whatever is in me that is blocking the flow of your love through me into the lives of those around me. Take my heart of stone and replace it with a heart that can love others in the way that you love me.”
—Submitted by Audrey Jose
Audrey is a Bible teacher and author. She is the Director of Training for Lifesprings and is trained to teach courses on Conflict Transformation and Restoring Your Past. Audrey and her husband serve together with Radstock Ministries (www.radstock.org) and divide their time between living in Canada and Albania, where they mentor Albanian missionaries serving in Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia and Macedonia.
ROL=Rhythm of Life. Our reflections for 2020 are themed around framing and forming a personal Rhythm (Rule) of Life as a Lifesprings community.