John 13:34-35 – A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another. (NIV)
1 John 4:11-12 – Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love each other, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (NIV)
I'm a great lover of children's books. For several years I had the joy of working in a school library. Over the years I've accumulated a wonderful collection of children's books of my own which I've always said will be for my grandchildren. However, since my own children are now 28 and 25 and still not married, I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever have grandchildren! Now my children get pleasure out of buying me children's books (and videos) for birthday and Christmas gifts.
One of my favourite stories is that of The Velveteen Rabbit. (In fact, I have several different versions of it — all beautifully illustrated!) This is the story of a toy rabbit that longs to be real. The toy soldiers make fun of him — he's not real, he doesn't even wind up! But the wise old rocking horse reassures him that only one thing can make him real — love.
One day the little boy picks up the rabbit, and never puts him down. He hugs him until his hair is nearly rubbed off, but the rabbit still feels beautiful because he is loved. Now he can become real.
Love plays such an important part in our lives, too — we all need to feel loved. Without love we feel as if we are nothing. As the famous song says: "What the world needs now is love, sweet love."
God is love. God loves each one of us. He loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us. When we love others, God lives in us and we become the people He created us to be — real people.
God is real. When we love others, this is how the world will know that God is real, and as today's music says:
- They'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are love. Thank You for loving us. Help us to show Your love to the world by loving others as You have loved us. Live in us that we may live in You and become the real people that You created us to be. May those around us know we are Christians by our love. Amen.