ODJ: let us love

February 1, 2016 

READ: 1 John 4:7-21 

No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us (v.12).

It was a great tragedy for our whole community. My daughter’s first-grade teacher died in childbirth, along with her baby. She was just 36 years old. It broke my heart to see her in a casket with the baby in her arms.

It just shouldn’t be. But because of mankind’s rebellion against God and its continued effects of sin in the world, tragedies like this happen every single day around the globe.

Something that inspired all of us who grieved was that this teacher was characterized by the love and joy she showered on everyone she met. She was fun, full of life, and good at her job. She loved children, parents, and community members whether they were believers in Jesus or not (1 John 4:7). She was winsome. She loved people even if they weren’t all she wanted them to be. God’s love was brought “to full expression” in her (v.12).

Her funeral was jam-packed. It was a real celebration. We even danced for a few minutes because we knew that’s what she would have us do. Her own family testified that she was the same person in private as she was in public. She was full of the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and more (Galatians 5:22-23).

This woman loved everyone in her presence and made a lasting difference. She lived out God’s love—something we’re called to do as well (1 John 4:19). Love can be our legacy as we reflect God, for He is love (v.16). And “this is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us” (v.10).

Kind and compassionate, caring and serving—those qualities mark the heart of a person who “live[s] like Jesus” (v.17). May we also “give up our lives” for others as He works in and through us! (3:16).

—Marlena Graves

365-day-plan: Exodus 2:11-25

Reflect on John 13:34- 35. How did Jesus love His disciples? 
Is God calling you to love a believer in Jesus who is hard to love? How can you more fully reveal God’s love to people you know?