Living and loving like Christ
Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. 1 John 4:7-12
God’s Word admonishes believers to live their lives like their Master. His life in you should be manifested in every aspect of your being. Your behavior and attitude should be patterned after His. “Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6). He wants you to have a life reflecting who He is. From the text through the apostle John, God wants you to be like Him in how you love others. And if that love should reflect Christ it should be sacrificial. “For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). In spite of the fact that He did not commit any offense to anyone that warranted a death on the cross, a criminal’s death, He went through with it and did not take any revenge. “He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right” (1 Peter 2:22-23). Being like Christ, your love for others is a life of service. He wants you to emulate His example. “And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15). You can spend many hours studying about the life of Christ and even become proficient, but that knowledge means little when you are not living out the life of Christ you claim you have. You have to step out in faith and follow Him. Being in Christ is not just knowing some truths about Him but truths that are meant to believe in and lived out in life. By His grace and with His help, you can follow the example of Christ even when you are wronged. “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).