Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8 NIV)
Love originates with God because God is love. God created us in a way that we only find fulfillment in love for God and for other people. When we walk together with God, we are people of love.
"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:21-22 NIV)
Even though this is our design, that is not what we see in the world around us. People live in ways that clearly show they do not love God. At the same time, they clearly do not love other people who are made in the image of God. This is why sent His Son, Jesus, to us. He modeled a life of love, even to the point of laying down his life for us. When we are Christ-followers, then, people see a difference in us. We are not the same as the rest of the world. We are his disciples.
Loving, though, is not just about being saved by God from our own wretchedness. It's not just about showing the world that we are Christians, either. These are good reasons to love - reasons that affect our lives and even our eternity. Our real reason for loving, though, is not about us. It's about other people.
"But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Luke 6:27-28 NIV)
Why would God ask us to love even our enemies and those who persecute us? It's simple. They are made in the image of God, too. They have sinned and fallen short of God's glory, too. They are sinners who need a savior, too. God loves them and wants to extend grace to them, too. But they won't know about all this unless someone tells them. You can't really share this good news with someone if you hate them. Love is all about God's mission for our lives.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations... (Matthew 28:19a NIV)
So, how about you? Do you love God enough that it shows? Do you stand firm in that love? Can people tell you are a Christian by your love? Do you love your enemies enough to pray for them? Do you let love drive you to go and make disciples of all nations? Do you see the reason for love?