Over the past few weeks, I've been preaching a series entitled, "Let Love Win!" Our relationship with God begins with His great love for us. 1 John 4:8 tells us that "God is love." 1 John 4:19 tells us that we can participate in love "because He first loved us." 1 John 4:12 tells us that "if we love one another, then God lives in us and His love is made complete in us." In 1 John 4, John uses a form of "love" over twenty-seven times. Love is the essence of our relationship with God and with our relationship with one another. Paul tells us in Romans 13:8, "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others had fulfilled the law." He goes on to say in Romans 13:9-10, "The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not covet,' and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."
What is the opposite of love? Hate. The Bible says that selfishness is also the opposite of love. In our world today, we are seeing a lot of hate. We are seeing a lot of selfishness. What will it take to combat hate and selfishness? It will take love. It will take God's love. As Christ followers, God lives in us, which means His love is in us. We have the capacity to love others the way God loves us. John tells us in 1 John 4:15-16, "If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the son of God, God live in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us." We can love others this way because we rely on the love God has for us. Paul says that debt is not good and that we should not have any outstanding debt other than the continuing debt to love one another. We owe it to the people to around us to love them with the love of God. And as Christ followers, we will always owe it to those around us to love them with the love of God. It is our continuing debt...TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER!