As we continue talking about love, we think of the way God loves us. The Bible starts with God’s creation, how He made everything and us. As we read the account of creation, we see how God created us because He wanted a relationship with us. He made us in His image, and therefore, He wanted a relationship that was close and binding. He also created everything around us so that we could be caretakers of all He had made. When we look at the world around us, we see God’s love for us, to create such a beautiful world. But He knew that man would fall, and so as part of His plan, Jesus became the sacrifice for our sins. He did this because of how much He loved us. Our verse is a prayer from David, one of praise and exultation because all around us shows the overwhelming love of God for us. “Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to you. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom, and you are exalted as head over all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11 CSB)
In the small group at our church, my husband and I attend, we are talking about the characteristics of God. One of those characteristics is love. Love is also one of the Fruits of the Spirit that we are to pursue and make a part of our character. We are learning that some characteristics of God are meant solely for Him alone. We are not to try to attain them. For example, He is omniscient…there is no way in this world we will ever know everything! That is a characteristic reserved for God alone. However, we are to try and be like Him by displaying other attributes that God exhibits, like love.
Do we have a sacrificial love like Jesus has for us? Do we go out of our way to help someone who is hurting? For one thing, the Bible tells us we are to love others. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11 ESV) We are to show that love to them because God loves us so much and we can only love them because when we accept Jesus as our Savior, God’s love resides in us for the specific purpose of showing others the love of God. When we are obedient in loving others, they see God’s love in us. John says that when we show God’s love to them, they know that we are Believers because we are exhibiting the love of God. The writer of Hebrews says, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 13:16 ESV)
David’s prayer in our Scripture today is a prayer of thanksgiving for everything God has done, an acknowledgment of Who God is, and how one of the ways He has shown His love for us is through the beautiful world He made for us. We are responsible for taking care of His creation, (Genesis 1:26-30) and part of that creation is our fellow man. The Bible shows us examples of how the early Christians showed their love by loving others. Acts 4:32-35 says that the early Believers shared everything they had with those who had nothing. The passage says that the Grace of God was so powerfully strong among them that there were no needy people in the congregation. They showed true Godly love among the Brethren, and it showed to everyone around. Enough that people took notice. The Bible says that they were all of one mind. They were in agreement that they needed to show God’s love to those who were less fortunate than them. That is sacrificial love. They gave everything they had so that no one would go hungry or be without. That is true sacrificial love. The essence of love is self-sacrifice.