A Divine Demonstration of Love - Charles Stanley Daily Devotional (April-03-2020).
1 John 4:7-19 ( 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us)
To better understand divine love, consider its opposite —false “love,” which sets limitations and always withholds something. This so-called love clings to control and gives only in order to manipulate. It is emotionally detached and unwilling to be vulnerable.
Genuine love, on the other hand, respects people as they are. It means understanding who the other person really is and loving without restriction. If you must be in control and your heart is not 100% in it, you’re missing true love.
Looking at the love of Jesus Christ on the cross, I see the most perfect demonstration of love anywhere. The Savior showed us how unlimited His love is: He gave His life for us and withheld nothing (Rom. 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?)! He did not give His love to manipulate us but instead gave us free will to accept or reject Him. And He loved us with vulnerability, already knowing His love would be rejected—even ignored or mocked. In loving with His whole heart, Jesus was willing to be turned down.
If you’re ever unsure about what true love really looks like, turn to the cross. Jesus gave His best—His all—to love us so that we could become children of God (1 John 3:1See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him).