God has always loved you!
The secret to loving others is realising just how much God loved you first.
Did you know that God has always loved you? And that God will always love you?
There is nothing you can do to lose God's love.
1 John 4:7-12 states
"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. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is made complete in us."
John's main point is that the most defining thing that makes you a Christian is that you know God's love shown to you in Jesus, and that you love other people too.
God wants you to know his love
We know that God made this great universe, the beautiful ocean full of sea creatures, he made space and the complexity of the galaxies, and God made all of that, yet he is still interested in you even though you are one in six billion.
Somehow we think it is possible for God to make all those things by speaking them into existence, but it is somehow impossible for him to be thinking of me right now.
Rest assured, he is not just thinking of you. He's intimately involved in your life, he gave his son for you, he has called you to a purpose, and he genuinely loves you.
Do you know God's love in your life?
Do you realise just how much he loves you?
That he sent Jesus to die for you?
God's love is life-changing, which means once you accept it, it will start changing you too.
God wants you to love other people
We can't love others in exactly the same way God loves us (after all, he's perfectly loving and we're not!).
But we can love others with a deep affection, sympathy, and encouragement.
Our love for others should be a (somewhat broken) reflection of the greater first love that comes from God.
As believers, we can never get good at loving others unless we are deeply spiritually rooted in God's love for us first. This is how we can have the strength to love our enemies or even love difficult people.
How do we grow in love, then?
First, spend time focusing on God's love for you – remember, God continues to love you despite your sin, despite how wrong you sometimes get things.
Second, ask God to fill you with love for others – love them like God loves you, despite their sin, despite how wrong they sometimes get things.
Written by Bobby Schuller, edited by Dakota Shyres.