Truth Plus Love

Day 6 of 6 • This day’s reading

Devotional

The kind of love that can change the world is an expressly Christian kind of love—a love that is motivated by the cross, shed blood, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We know what love is because God invented it, and He is love (see 1 John 4:8). 

God loves us so much that Jesus left the glory of heaven, became human, and gave His life for us on a cross. On the third day He rose again and soon ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father, as the Name above all names, to spend all of eternity loving all those who would accept His love. 

God not only calls us to truth; He also calls us to love. But many of us may need to travel the eighteen-inch journey from our head to our heart. We may know about God’s love but have never experienced it deep down. For this reason, we need to grasp these points about His incomprehensible love for us: 

·  When God says He loves us, He means it like no one ever has in our lives.

·  God loves us more in a moment than anyone could love in a lifetime. 

·  God knows the worst about us, yet He is the one who loves us the most.

·  God’s love is what we were born for: to know it, to receive it, to experience it, to be saturated in it, and to share it with the world.

Love is the greatest thing God has called us to do. When we know how much our Father in heaven loves us, it changes how we are able to love those around us. This kind of love God calls us to give to our families, friends, fellow Christians, neighbors, communities, and even our enemies, is such a big requirement that it can only be fueled by God’s love inside of us (see Romans 5:5). 

While it is critical for us to share the truth of God with others, we need to make sure we have the “equation balanced” so our words are always tempered with love. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul tells us: 

Truth - Love = Noise 

If we don’t live a life of love, we will only be a noise to the culture around us. We don’t just need to speak the truth louder; we need to love louder. At the other extreme:

Love - Truth = Error

We need to walk in God’s love, but this doesn’t mean we should move away from expressing the truth. If we move away from the truth of God’s Word, we will lose the ability to save. The truth of God’s Word—the truth of the gospel—is where the power is found. If we disconnect from these, we unplug the power source to change lives. Even though we will never be perfect, the Bible warns against giving license to sin. We need to call people away from sin and to gently speak truth to them. Calling people away from sin is a core part of the gospel message. This is why:

Truth + Love = Influence

Truth and love are the two legs of the Christian. Without both, we won’t get far. When we walk in truth, we have God’s power. When we walk in love, people will be drawn to us, and we can point them to the hope and truth of the gospel.

We may never be perfect at achieving this balance of both truth in love, but we need to always keep aiming toward both. As we walk in truth plus love, we will honor God and grow in our influence with our family, our neighborhood, our workplace, and our world.

Respond

How is God’s love different from human love? Who in your life has been an example of loving God’s way? 

How does Jesus’ death and resurrection impact your understanding of God’s love for you? 

How has God’s love for you influenced your love for others? What does it mean to walk in love, even when speak truth?

 

We hope this Plan encouraged you. Read more on this topic in Truth Plus Love: The Jesus Way to Influence by Matt Brown .