And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:16
Focus on Christ
How would you know that God loves you? How do you come to believe that God loves you? What does the love of God look like?
The answer to these questions are found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Love of God became flesh and dwelt among us to take the penalty that we could not pay. Christ paid the price for your sin, so that the power of God would allow you to exchange your sin for His Spirit. Why wouldn’t you be able to believe in this Love? The answer is simple. It’s because you can’t see your sin through the eyes of God. If you were able to see the wickedness in your own heart, then you would begin to understand the Love of God.
Why would you ever want to hold on to your sin that nailed Christ to the cross? When you understand the Love of God and abide in that Love, you will want to run from your sin. Sin and the Love of God cannot coexist in your spirit. You cannot serve two masters. You will either love one and hate the other, or you will be a very confused individual.
How do you develop a love relationship with God? There are three steps to developing a love relationship with Christ. First, you must place your faith in Him. It is difficult to love someone you do not trust. When you love God with all your heart, you will desire to believe Him at His Word and obey what He tells you. Second, you must develop this love for Christ. This is accomplished by spending daily time with Him and building a true relationship. This abiding love only grows as you follow Him in obedience. Third, you must deepen in your love and watch as righteousness develops. The Holy Spirit will automatically provide you with His qualities to live His Way in righteousness. You do not develop righteousness in your own strength, but in an abiding relationship.
Focus on Self
Self invests its efforts in ways to receive love, attention, and comfort. Christ’s abiding love cost Him His Life. He was willing to lay His life down to help you understand what it really means to love. This kind of Love is a free gift as a result of an abiding relationship with Christ. You might say that you don’t really understand what an abiding relationship with Christ means. If you don’t know what it means, then take the effort and time to begin to understand what Jesus meant in John 15 about an abiding love.
*Taken from Gifts from God by Kerry Skinner and Alison Veazey. Click here to order your copy!