John Koedyker

Read: 1 John 3:11-24

By this we know love, that [Jesus Christ] laid down his life for us. (v. 16)

The word “love” is one of the most overused words in our society today. Don’t get me wrong, I would much rather hear the word “love” than words of profanity. But the distressing thing about the overuse of “love” is that the true biblical meaning has gotten lost. Nowadays love is used almost exclusively as something associated with our senses. It is something we “feel.” Instead, in the Bible, love is something that we are commanded to do. Jesus, in his great summary of the Law and the Prophets said, “You shall love the Lord your God . . .” and “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-40). Love in the biblical sense is more a thing of the will.

It certainly was that way with God’s love to us. God doesn’t love us because we are nice people. No, it was “while we were still sinners” that Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8). God loves us despite our sins. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6). God is committed to love us, no matter what! And he has shown us that most clearly in Jesus whose very life and example likewise teaches us to “lay down our lives” for others. —John Koedyker

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for sending us your Son Jesus to show us what real love is. Help us really love those around us. Amen.