Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma (Ephesians 5:1-2)
Do you know of anyone who loves people despite the cost or danger? A person who has shared with you a love that is unconditional is someone who can love without borders. Loving someone is sacrificial, and it requires effort. We know that no lasting relationship is built on selfishness, but rather on selflessness. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, we read: Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
If love requires any effort, there must be an active component to loving someone. Saying “I love you” is totally different than loving on someone through our actions. We may say that we love someone, but do things that are contradictory to our words. Thus, loving in word must accompany the loving deeds we do for others. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:16-18)
In our own relationships, how do we know we are loving someone the way God shows His love for us? Romans 12:9-10 says, Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. In Ephesians 4:2-3, we are told to be “completely humble and gentle” and to be “patient, bearing with one another in love.“
Can you think of a time, or maybe even a few times where God has been patient with you? If we are being totally honest with ourselves, Christ is patient with each of us on a daily basis. We tend to fall short, but the Lord makes Himself readily available to those who are willing to receive Him as their Saviour.