With so much chatter of love in our world, it’s easy to lose sight of the reality. John speaks to this in 1 John 3: 16-23 writing about what love looks like. He discussed how to know love, how it works through us, and how it affects us.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” Galatians 6:2 NKJV.
How We Know Love
First, we know love because of Jesus. God is love and it comes to us through His Son Jesus Christ. We look to His life of service to God and His death on the cross. John wrote, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.” Jesus ultimately illustrated His love for God and His children, by His sacrificial death on the cross.
How It Works Through Us
Secondly, how does it work through us? God’s love changes us. We ought also, like Jesus, lay down our own agendas, our own goods, our lives, especially to our siblings in Christ. He challenged his readers. If you have this world’s goods and you see your brother struggling, do you shut up your heart? Do you turn away? How can you, if the love of Christ is living in you? As stated in 2 Cor. 5:14,15, “the love of Christ compels us.” We no longer live for ourselves but for Him who died for all. It goes beyond the utterance of the words. It shows up in actions flowing from a pure heart.
How It Affects Us
Thirdly, how does God’s love affect us? God knows our hearts, for He has fashioned them. He alone is judge. At times we suffer beneath our own judgement but John writes that the Father is greater than our heart. We rest in His delight of us. It gives us confidence that He will answer our prayers because our heart’s desire is, to please Him. John summarizes by reminding his readers that the commandment is to believe on the name of Jesus Christ and to love one another. In these verses, he discussed how to know love, how it works through us, and how it affects us.