Love One Another
“See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children—and we are!” (1 John 3:1) The gospel is a story of love. When we were enemies of God, He loved us and adopted us into His family. (Romans 5:7-11, Galatians 4:4-7) As God’s children, we are to let His love be evident to all in the way we love others. Jesus Himself said, “Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.” (John 13:34)
The apostle John would have understood the depth of Jesus’ love better than most. As one of Jesus’ closest friends, John saw Jesus’ love in action firsthand. Along with Peter and James, John was part of the innermost circle of Jesus’ disciples and personally saw Jesus compassionately minister to those with whom He came in contact during His life. Many years after Jesus returned to heaven, John wrote a letter to help believers understand who Jesus is. At the center of John’s message was one key theme: love.
What an appropriate session to follow Easter: Love One Another. Last week we saw Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection as the ultimate example of love in action. As followers of Jesus, we must love others and this love must be expressed in tangible ways. “This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (1 John 3:16). John goes on to tell us that we lay down our lives by compassionately giving to others. This deep, genuine love-in-action will help the world see the reality of the gospel.
Love is often misunderstood and distorted in our culture. Many of the kids you teach have been so enveloped by these misunderstandings that they have a hard time separating the true love of God from the lies of the world. Many of them see love as just a feeling, as something temporary or conditional, or as something that has to be earned. This session provides you an opportunity to delicately, yet truthfully, expose the world’s myths about love and remind kids of the truth about God’s love.
Remember to be sensitive to the situations kids face. Some may feel unloved. Some may have been hurt by those they love. Some may be trying to earn love from others. Be prepared to address these situations carefully. Begin praying now for the Spirit of God to work in the lives of your kids this week and to give you wisdom, gentleness, and sensitivity as you point them to Jesus.
Remind kids that, though human love may fall short, Jesus’ love for them is unconditional, unending, and never fails. Love is more than feelings or words—it is action. Jesus showed God’s love for us when He died on the cross to rescue people from sin. We can love others because God loved us first.
Jeremy Carroll (@jermpc) is the team leaderfor The Gospel Project for Kids. Before coming to LifeWay, he has been active in local church ministry for nearly 20 years in TN, TX, and AL. Jeremy earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. A Middle Tennessee native, he and his family live in Murfreesboro, TN.