“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 4:9-11
Even growing up in the church with a great understanding of God, I've always had a hard time finding grace and love for others. It's not in our human nature to want to hold out a hand to help someone who has just pushed us down, let us down or maybe even just woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
This passage in 1 John lays out truth like light in darkness. If I try to love from my own strength, from my own world perspective, I'll continuously fail and fall short. It says that as Christ died for us, not because of our love but His for us, that same love can be manifest through us. As He stands in the gap for us, we can then see people through His perspective rather than ours. In realizing that the sacrifice on the cross was for me and also for every human I come into contact with, my perception shifts for the neighbor who plays their collection of disco music late at night or the barista who gets a coffee order wrong twice in a row.
What an unmeasurable love that it took to sacrifice Jesus that day—an act of love which has covered every generation that has been on this earth these past two thousand years ago. Each person name, face and desire is recognized and cherished by our Maker, each life worth the price that was paid. We are showed in these verses that this same love can live in each and everyone of us that accept the mantle of following Christ.