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I John 4:19

“We love because He first loved us.”

We find freedom in service that is motivated by real love.  But how do we find the “love”?  It’s found through realizing and accepting that God loved us so much that He sent His Son to be our atonement, our scapegoat.  God loved us so much He was willing to die so that we could live.

If someone is willing to do this for you, wouldn’t it change your view of others?  Wouldn’t it give you the motivation to give back?  Wouldn’t you have an obligation to make their sacrifice worth something?  Wouldn’t you try to live better?  Of course!

I John 4 expounds – IF we say we love God and don’t demonstrate that love to others  – “love your neighbor as yourself” – THEN, we are liars.  Point is, IF we love God, THEN we love others.  He died for us, out of love.  We love because He first loved us.

So then, how should Christians demonstrate this in our work, family, and culture?

Real love, motivated by God’s original love for us, is lived out in TRUTH.  We have to get real and demonstrate real love.  But how?  First, we have to live it at home – in our family.  We have to be willing to separate NEEDS from WANTS and focus on the needs of our family and then the needs of others.  This is how Christ showed love – He addressed the needs of those he met, led, battled, or influenced.

Also, TRUTH is not always comfortable.  It’s hard to get real and be honest with what is right – especially with ourselves.  Isn’t it true that the easiest people to be around are those who are honest with who they are and what are their skills?  You can trust them.  We are motivated by their relationship because they are real – no pretense, no “perception”, no hype – simple TRUTH.  Love take practice buts progresses, like faith, as we practice.  The result – patience, kindness, and humility.

As Christian leaders, in a tough world, we can become a blazing light, like the sun, that shines TRUTH into the world.  We demonstrate real love by being who God created and planned for us to be – right where we are.  By living in TRUTH, we empower others with the ability to trust us.  Then, when we show a true attitude of service – motivated NOT by what we can get – but by a desire, an obligation, to want others to get real and know the TRUTH.  This is real love.  This is what should make us different – having the bravery to be yourself and the confidence to show God’s love through service.  Service that is truly motivated to see others be their best – be what God created and planned for them to be.

Remember – He loved you first.  Now live like it!