DEVOTION:HAS GOD TAUGHT YOU HOW TO LOVE?
Paul continues to highlight the marks of a genuine believer in Christ. In today’s passage, he talks about the love for the brethren. But Paul’s language is very intriguing. He does not say you love the brethren even though that is exactly what he seeks to communicate. But he points out how these Thessalonian Christians were able to love the other believers. This is how the Apostle Paul expressed this thought:
Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 1 Thessalonians 4:9
Paul continues to show how the love of these Christians had impacted their regions. Here is how he describes:
And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia.
1 Thessalonians 4:10
What is Paul talking about here? How does God teach believers how to love? The following passages should shade light on what Paul has in mind.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
In this passage we see three things on how to love when we observe how God loved us.
First, God’s love is other-oriented. In other words, God did not love Himself. He loved the (us) world. Secondly, God’s love is action-oriented. He gave! This is was not just an emotion but action. Thirdly, God love is sacrificial. He gave His only begotten Son.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
In this passage, we find the fourth dimension of God’s love. It is an act of the will. God did not love us because we loved Him. Instead, He loved us while we were rebelling against Him. There was nothing good in us to attract Him to us. He decided to love us. And this is an act of the will.
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10
In this last passage, we see that God’s love is bringing someone from the worst position to a better position. In short, God’s love is seeking what is best for the other person. And this is the fifth dimension of God’s love.
We see the same three dimensions of God’s love found in John 3:16, in Jesus’s love for us.
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2
These are: Jesus love is other-oriented- He loved us
Jesus love is action oriented. He gave up. And Jesus’s is sacrificial. He gave Himself up. Nothing was left to him. He gave himself up.
1. How has God’s love inspired you to love others?
2. Can you say God has taught you how to love? If so, how has he done this to you?
3. Have you applied all the five dimensions of God’s love in loving the brethren?
4. Which one of these five dimensions is/are the most difficult to apply? Why?
5. If loving the brethren is a distinguishing mark of a believer, how do rate yourself on a scale of 1-10? And 10 being the perfect lover of the brethren.
Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10
God’s Love is Other-Oriented
God’s Love is Action-Oriented
God’s Love is Sacrificial
God’s Love is an Act of the Will
God’s Love is doing what is best for the other person.
If this is what is meant to love
HAS GOD TAUGHT YOU HOW TO LOVE?
By Pastor Shadrack Ruto