Love is that deep feeling of affection one has for another. Love is natural and difficult to comprehend. It is caring, gentle, kind, enduring, patient, not jealous, not boastful, not irritable, not resentful, does not rejoice at wrong, rejoices in the right and bears all things. The greatest gift we can give to one another is to love with all our heart. We should not love only our relatives or those with whom we worship, or our townsmen, but everyone. God who created the universe has great love for his creatures especially man.
God’s Love For Man -John 3:16-18
God created man in his own image and loves man more than any other of his creations. When God created man, he gave him dominion over all creatures. He cares for man, loves him and does not want man to perish in sin. God’s love for man is so real, so genuine and strong that he sent Jesus Christ, his only begotten son to come into the world to die for our sins and for man to gain eternal life. God’s love is therefore more than a mere feeling of affection.
What love is greater than that a man could die for the rest of humanity? Certainly none. Through the gift of Jesus by God and his death on the cross, God has provided us an opportunity for repentance and freedom from death to eternal life, provided we believe in him whom God sent.
God sent Jesus Christ to the world, not to condemn the world but to save it because whosoever believes in Jesus will be saved and not be condemned; whereas whosoever does not believe in him is condemned already as John indicates:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life: For God sent the Son into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God”. (John 3:16-18).
John’s Message of Love For One Another -John 13:34-35; 15:12-13
Jesus’ message of love to mankind as recorded by John is in form of a law or commandment:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, That you also love one another. By this, all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”. (John 13:34-35).
By this commandment, we should love one another, following strictly the laid-down style in which Jesus loved us. This is the only way people will know we are his disciples. Since Jesus loves everyone, we should not therefore discriminate when we love. We should not love only our brothers, sisters, relatives or church members; otherwise, such love is not total as Jesus’. We should instead love all.
Jesus goes ahead to command us to love to the point of laying down our lives for others just like him. This implies that our love should be total, genuine, real and not a mere infatuation or affection. According to him:
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13).
Invariably, Jesus sets a standard for the love he expects from us the type he showed to us.
Lessons to Learn from God’s Love for Man
- It is not God’s wish for man to perish, else, he would not have sent his son.
- God’s love for man is not fake but original and genuine.
- After showing such rare love, those who refuse to believe in Jesus Christ will be condemned without mercy.
- Our love for one another should be real and not just a mere affection.
- The only way people will know we are Christ’s disciples is by loving one another.
- To love one another is a commandment. Those who flout it will be punished.
- Jesus’ death for us is a standard as far as our love for one another is concerned. We must love to the extent of giving our life for others.
- Our love should not be discriminatory but without bounds.
- No sacrifice is too big as far as our responsibility to one another is concerned.
- Jesus is continually showing his love for man by providing for their needs both spiritually and materially. He gives the gift of holy spirit to christians.
- The love of God for the world is total and shows commitment and genuineness of purpose. That is equally how our love for one another should be.
- No sacrifice is too big for each other, even the supreme sacrifice if need be.
- To love one another is a divine injunction which must be kept.