We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us
1 John 3:16 New American Standard Bible
16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers and sisters.
John ultimately pointed to Jesus as the example of how we are to love. Jesus sacrificially loved and laid down His life. If we truly love our brothers and sisters in Christ, we must love them as Christ loved us. Jesus will never ask us to do something that He didn’t already model for us. He said that we would be known as His disciples by our love for one another. The true result of abiding in Christ is His love consumes every part of our being. When we are walking in love it will guard our hearts from sin and selfishness.
What does it look like to love as Jesus loved? It requires sacrifice. We may struggle with a fellow brother or sister in Christ, but that doesn’t give us an excuse not to love them. Regardless of how we personally feel or even how we have been treated, we are still called to love.
To follow Christ is to be willing to die to self on a daily basis. The greatest hindrance to the plans and purposes of God is self. The enemy will tempt us to chase after what we want. The enemy will tempt us to only love those who can further our lives and personally benefit us. But to follow Christ means something different.
It means to love those who are difficult to love. It means to put the needs of others before our own. When we walk in obedience, the blessing of the Lord will be poured out in our lives. We must remember our reward awaits us in heaven someday. All that we do on this earth in faithfulness to Jesus and His kingdom will be recognized and rewarded in His kingdom.