Brew a Cup of Real Love

Woman holds a cup of coffee

Have you ever tried to make coffee without coffee?

Probably not. The idea is clearly impossible, but I have often wished that I could do such a thing. Take a Monday morning, when you roll out of bed and stumble towards the coffee maker, only to realize that your precious bag of dark-roast coffee is empty. You want to make coffee. You have the equipment to make coffee. But you can’t actually produce a cup of coffee without the coffee itself.

In the same way, we can’t produce unconditional love for others on our own; we have to start with the unconditional love of Christ. First John 4:7–21 is filled with insights about loving God and loving others. Verse 7 says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God” (NIV). Love doesn’t come from our desire to please others or even to do the right thing. It comes from God.

Secondly, verse 10 shows us that God’s love is unconditional. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (NIV). We were sinners, completely undeserving of God’s love and mercy, but God loved us anyway.

Lastly, John tells us why we have the ability to give this same love with others. Verse 19 says, “We love because He first loved us” (NIV).

Loving unconditionally can be hard. I’ve learned that no matter how much I try to muster up genuine feelings of selfless love, I can’t do it on my own. We have to come to God and ask Him to give us a scoop from His dark-roasted, endless supply of perfect love. Only then can we make a cup of that unconditional love to give to others.

Rachel Sinclair writes from Birmingham, Alabama, and loves to share people’s stories. Contact her at rsinclai@samford.edu.

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