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.1 John 4:12 (NLT)
Ah, Valentine’s Day. The day when men go broke trying to prove to their significant other how much they actually love them. The words “I love you” are probably spoken a million times more often that day than any other day of the year. Roses are cut down in the prime of their lives. Strawberries are crushed beneath the weight of a loved one’s teeth. Enough candy is given, and eaten, to make the dentists of the world cringe in horror. (Of course, they make money off of people having rotten teeth, so how true is the horror, really?)
This begs the question: Why do we smother our sweethearts with love one day per year, but not so much the rest of the year? Sure, there are birthdays and anniversaries, but what about the other 363 or so days? Where’s the love?
Sometimes we project this cynicism onto God. We feel Him closest during the big moments of our spiritual life: Christmas, Easter, youth conferences, etc. But, how come He feels so distant during other parts of the year? There are a lot of reasons. I think the main one is a bit harsh, yet absolutely true. We don’t feel His love in a super powerful way because we aren’t focused on loving. We aren’t giving love.
Check out our verse today, “But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” In other words, if we want to experience the “full expression” of God’s love in our life, we have to love others. When we are concentrated on ourselves, the love of God fades. When we are focused on loving others, the love of God grows in us. In short, we can’t experience the fullness of His love unless we are giving love.
So, it’s pretty simple. If you want to experience the fullness of God’s love on a daily basis, put loving other people first on your to-do list each and every day. As you serve, encourage, pray for, comfort, laugh with, cry with, and love others, you will begin to experience God’s love on a magnitude that, perhaps, you haven’t before. And, it occurs every day.
So, today, and every day, ask God to show you how to love your friends, family, neighbors, and strangers. Pray that He will allow you to experience the fullness of His love as you love others.
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