Topic: 1 John 3:14
"We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love other believers." 1 John 3:14 (GWT)
Our love for others is the fruit, not the root, of our relationship with God. The Apostle John taught that our love for others emerges from our relationship with God, that anyone who is born of God and knows God will love with the love of God. (1 John 4:7, NLT)
In a sense, you could say the process of sanctification -- the movement toward becoming like Jesus -- involves the Eternal One's love cleaning the clutter you've stuffed into the cupboards hidden inside you. God strides confidently through the dust and the grime that builds up because of our sin, and he throws open the shades and wipes down the windows until we "shine like stars in the world." (Philippians 2:15, HCSB)
As God scrubs our insides with the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, we pass from "death to life." (1 John 3:14) We are transformed from people who are selective in who and how we love into people who, energized by God's spirit, love one another abundantly and unconditionally.
In faith, we love with the love of God, and in our slow and stumbling walk toward spiritual maturity, we learn that what matters is "faith expressing itself in love." (Galatians 5:6, NLT)
What does this mean?
Express your faith with love -- We reveal our faith when we express it as love, extending God's unconditional love to all people, even those who are difficult to love. We express our faith with love, not by the rules we keep.
Let God love through you -- No matter how loving you try to be, you will eventually run out of love when you try to love in your own strength. Let God's unlimited, unconditional love energize you.
Ask for a deep "Jesus love" -- Ask God to help you receive and then share his unconditional love. Name someone you specifically have trouble loving and ask God to develop in you a deep "Jesus love" for that person -- a love based upon God's strength and not your own.
How will non-Christians identify you as a follower of Christ?