Are You Living by Love?
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
-Augustine of Hippo, Early Church Father
God has blessed me with the opportunity to write and speak extensively on the topic of love and relationships. Sadly, some people live their whole lives without ever discovering the true meaning of love.
What am I talking about? Let’s look at a passage of scripture:
. . .God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
-1st John 4:16-19
“God is love,” the Bible declares. He is the creator of love. He is the source of love. He is the sustainer of love. To know Him is to know perfect love. His perfect love “expels all fear.” I am complete because I have experienced God’s perfect love. What about you?
Your relationship with God is the most important relationship in your life. If your relationship with Him is broken, then all other relationships will be affected. Unfortunately, some of the people I meet just don’t understand this. Many of them look to human relationships to satisfy an inner thirst that only God can quench.
There’s something else that you need to realize: all human beings have broken their relationship with God. This is the result of our sin. Romans 3:23 says it this way: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” In fact, we have broken our relationship with God to the point that we cannot repair it. You cannot be good enough or religious enough to satisfy God’s righteous standard.
Fortunately, Jesus Christ has done everything needed to repair your relationship with God. Jesus has already paid for all of our sins. The Bible says it this way:
“He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed” (1st Peter 2:24).
Jesus has already demonstrated His perfect love for you: “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8).
God’s love, which was expressed through Jesus Christ, requires a personal response. I remember the night I got on one knee, pulled out a diamond ring, and asked Mare Cris to marry me. One thing is for sure: such a gesture required a response! In the same way, Jesus’ sacrifice requires a personal response on our part.
Have you ever personally responded to Jesus Christ? Have you ever surrendered your heart and life to Him? Please consider taking this vital step. You, too, can learn to live by love! Here’s what you have to do.
First, you must believe.
You have to believe what God’s word says about you: that you are a sinner in need of God’s forgiveness and that you can’t save yourself. You have to believe what the Bible says about Jesus: that He is the Son of God, crucified for your sins, raised from the dead. Here’s what the Bible says:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
Second, you must commit to a new life in Christ.
This is what the Bible calls “repentance.” Repenting means that you are turning from your old ways and asking Jesus to change you. It’s kind of like a u-turn. It doesn’t mean you’ll be perfect, but it does mean you have committed to a new direction—following Jesus! This is what Peter said in one of his first sermons:
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord
Would you like to take this step? Get alone with Jesus for a few moments and pray. Admit to him that are a sinner who has fallen short. Ask him to come into your life and change you. He can give you a new life! Here’s what the Bible says about those who have trusted Christ:
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
-2nd Corinthians 5:17
I made this decision years ago, and I have never regretted it. If Jesus can change me, He can change you, too!