“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19 NIV)
We were created in God’s image to do two things on Earth: Learn to love God and learn to love other people. Life is all about love.
But love all started with God. He loved us first, and that gives us the ability to love others (1 John 4:19). The only reason you can love God or love anybody else is because God first loved you. And he showed that love by sending Jesus Christ to Earth to die for you. He showed that love by creating you. He showed that love by everything you have in life; it’s all a gift of God’s love.
In order to love others and to become great lovers, we first need to understand and feel how much God loves us. We don’t want to just talk about love, read about love, or discuss love; we need to experience the love of God.
We need to reach a day when we finally, fully understand how God loves us completely and unconditionally. We need to become secure in the truth that we cannot make God stop loving us.
Once we’re secure inside God’s unconditional love, we’ll start cutting people a lot of slack. We won’t be as angry as we were before.
During this Christmas season, think about the following:
- Who needs more patience from you?
- Who needs more time from you?
- Who do you need to forgive?
- Who needs your mercy and grace?
What will you do about these things during this season of love?
Watch a short video sample from Pastor Rick on the importance of love. Saddleback Resources offers 40 Days of Love, a six-week, video-based study for small groups or individuals that searches the Scripture for what love is, the characteristics of love, and how our relationships can be transformed by love.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren.