March 14, 2022

Love God? Love His People


Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8

Jesus said it three times (John 13:34-5).  You’ll find it a dozen times in the New Testament of the Bible.  It’s a little phrase that describes something people have a hard time doing, but followers of Jesus are supposed to be known for it.

Have you guessed the phrase?  It’s this:  Love one another.  You may agree that loving God is important.  But have you stopped to think, that because God is love (1 John 4:7), loving God means that we love people?  All His people.

The people that Jesus hand-picked to be the first to learn from Him were His disciples. Several of them would never have agreed to be in the same room with each other–Matthew was a tax-collector for the Romans, who swindled his own people. And opposite Matthew, was Simon the Zealot.  His name leads us to believe that he was probably a radical Jew who despised any reconciliation with the Romans.  These in Jesus’ inner circle were so dramatically different from each other, they’d never have loved each other naturally.

So, we love one another not because we think alike on politics, vaccination status, or non-essential theology, but because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). Jesus showed that we love, “not based on our compatibility with others, but because of our commonality.”[1]

Love is the test, as 1 John 4:12 puts plainly: “If we love each other, God lives in us.”


Resource reading: 1 John 4:7-21

[1] Beeman, John. “Essential to Faith.”  Stonecreek Christian Church, February 13, 2022.  Rancho Santa Margarita, CA.  Sermon.