A look at the Top 40 songs in our culture today will surely prove that “love” is a predominant theme in our world. Love has been the theme of the greatest movies, the greatest songs and the greatest books. And love is the predominant theme in the Bible.
    The apostle John wrote about love in his tiny book called 1 John. And in that short, five chapter book, John tells us that, “we should love one another” (1 John 3:11, NASB). John then gives three principles of love.
    First of all, when we love one another, we show to the world that we are Christians. John says “we know that we have passed out of death into life.” Death, here, refers to the eternal separation from God; while, life refers to eternity with God. He then says, “we know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren.” (verse 14.) So our love for others is a sign of our faith. John records Jesus as saying, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13.) And that is exactly what Jesus did for us.
    {mosimage}John gives a second principle, love is an action. There is a significant difference in me telling my wife “I love you” and actually showing her I love her. Love should be more than words that come from our mouths. Love is an action. John writes, “let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (verse 18). Someone once said, “Love is a verb!” Love is to be expressed in the actions of our day-to-day routine. Find someone who needs to be loved on today. Do you have a neighbor who is lonely and needs a friend? Maybe a military family that is dealing with the loss of a friend in service? Seek out a family that is struggling financially, and give them a substantial financial gift to help them along. And tell your spouse and kids that you love them … not in your words, but with your deeds.
    Finally, John gives a third principle: Love frees our hearts from condemnation. Have you ever avoided someone only to second guess your actions later? Perhaps it was the poor man on the street corner or a hungry child at the store. Later, you get home to the comfort of your house and you begin to think, “Maybe he really did need a dollar.” When we love unselfishly, then our heart will not condemn us with those guilty feelings. So let your heart be free by living the truth of loving one another. Remember, God loved you even when you were dirty with sin, unloving, ungrateful, and unwilling to change. “For God so loved the world, that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, emphasis added.)
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