Last week we had the opportunity to be a part of the 140 or so people at Carolina Bible Camp. It was a big step for our 10 students who had never been before and may have recognized 1 or 2 people when they first stepped on the campgrounds the first day. As I observed our youth starting to interact with the others, I noticed something very important. The others were showing love and care to our students who they didn’t know. They made sure our students knew where important places were, they helped them understand how the schedule worked, and most importantly they showed our kids where the food was to keep our bellies filled. What neither sets of students realized is that they were being the example of Christ’s love that we all need in our lives.
1 John 4:7-21 paints for us a picture about the Love of God. It uses descriptions such as, “love comes from God”, “he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” and “perfect love expels all fear”. 1 Corinthians 13 also gives us a list of the things that make up love. These are all things that when we take to heart benefit us and our relationship not only with other people, but also with God. We need to be a people who are rooted in God’s love. Being rooted gives us the ability to stand stronger in times of difficulty. Being rooted gives us strength when the world tries to feed us constant lies. Here are some things we can root ourselves in throughout the trials of this life.
1) “Let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7) Love comes from God. It doesn’t come from the things of this world. It doesn’t come from our jobs, our schools, our homes, or by how much money we have. Love comes from God. We need to love each other even when things aren’t perfect. God loves us, we need to love one another.
2) “This is real love- not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” (1 John 4:12) God loves us so much that he sent Jesus to this earth as a sacrifice to take away our sins. God didn’t wait till we were perfect to take care of us. In fact we were in deep trouble when God sent Jesus. God loves us so much that he wants to help pull us out of the muck of life so that we can live with Him. Share God’s love with someone. Everyone needs the love of Jesus.
3) “God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” (1 John 4:16) Amen! When we don’t know what love looks like we look to God. He shows us exactly what love is.
Where are your roots growing? Are they growing in love or in the muck of hatred and the world? We don’t have to know someone to share the love of God with them. When you grow your roots deep in love you not only grow closer to God but you grow stronger in that love. This week I want to challenge you to love like God, to love like the example of Jesus, but to go out of your way this week to show love to someone who needs it this week.