In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’ve been thinking of different ways I can be showing God’s love to others. While Hallmark and the rest of the commercialized world want you to believe that Valentine’s Day is only for couples and love is only for romantic relationships, I beg to differ.
Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love, and with its Christian origin, it’s about sharing God’s love, too. If you’re wondering how to show love to your neighbor and how to love others like God loves us, check out these 10 wonderful and simple ways to show God’s love to others.
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Showing God’s Love to Others
I could have titled this post showing love to others, but I want to talk specifically about showing God’s love to others. As the God of the Universe, God has set our world in motion, designed it, and brought order to it. He’s also made us in His image and likeness.
How blessed we are to be made in the image of our God!
So when it comes to love, why wouldn’t we look to our God and Father in Heaven? He has shown His love to us in incredible ways and continues to love us. In fact, the Bible says that God is love.
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 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.”1 John 4:8-10 (ESV)
How to Love like God
In the scripture above from 1 John 4, God defines love for us. “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” (v.10 ESV). When we study scriptures about God’s love, we find that God’s greatest demonstration of his love for us was through the sacrifice of Jesus, who paid the penalty of our sins and made peace between us and God. So when thinking about how to love like God, Jesus Christ is the example.
What I find most fascinating about God’s demonstration of love is how much we, mankind, did not deserve it. The love that God lavished on us was unmerited and yet unconditional and unfailing to the point that even if we fail, He is still faithful.
“”To share and show God’s love, we must be willing to love in situations where love may be undeserved, unmerited, or unrequited.
Jesus’s words from the sermon on the Mount in Matthew come to mind when Jesus says “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (Matthew 5:46 ESV). The greatness of God’s love is in the gracious way he bestowed it to those who had rebelled against him–sinners like you and me.
What else does the Bible say about God’s love?
Besides the fact that God’s love is undeserved by mankind, the Bible has lots more to say on the topic. In the Bible, God’s love is described as kind, patient, generous, merciful, unfailing, and unending. The passage 1 Corinthians 13 goes on to say that God’s love does not keep record of wrongs. It detests evil and does not envy or boast.
But that’s just the start. The Bible is full of scriptures about God’s love and the stories of the Bible demonstrate the power of God’s love, too.
How to Love Others according to the Bible
After understanding and accepting God’s love for us, we can then begin to love others like God has loved us. The Bible gives us a couple of guidelines for how to love others:
- Be a Friend – Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity” (NIV). Through thick and thin, a friend is there to support and encourage.
- Treat others how you would like to be Treated – Before there was such a thing as the golden rule, Jesus said, “‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:39b NKJV).
- Share Burdens – Human connection is a gift from God, and He created us to be in relationship with each other. One of the reasons I believe He designed us this way is so that we can share each other’s burdens. Whatever we are going through, we don’t need to carry it alone.
- Sharpen Others – “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17 ESV). This is Solomon’s way of saying give each other “tough love.” When we want the best for someone, sometimes we need to give them “tough love.” Through our encouragement and tough conversations, we help them become more like Christ.
- Forgive Others – To forgive doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to let whoever hurt you completely back into your life. Forgiveness is about your heart and letting go of animosity, bitterness, and anger. “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 (NIV)
- Humble Yourself and Consider Others – Jesus has said, “‘Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friend’” (John 15:13 NKJV). While many of us won’t have the chance to lay down our lives for our friends, we can love others through humility. When Jesus laid down his life for us, He humbled himself and considered the needs of broken mankind above all.
It’s impossible to talk about ways to show the love of God to others without mentioning sharing God’s love, too. For those who may never pick up a Bible, our words and actions can point them to salvation through Jesus and God’s love.
When I did a mission trip in Toronto, Canada, a country that is only about two percent evangelical, it was through showing God’s love that we were able to share God’s love. We hosted a family carnival for example, gave away snowcones, and played games to show the community in Toronto the love of God. From there, we were able to start conversations about Jesus, salvation, and share God’s love with the individuals we met.
How do you share God with others?
Words are a powerful way to share God with others. Through the use of Scripture and our life experiences, we can tell the story of God’s love and how Jesus Christ has redeemed us. But from my mission trip in Toronto, I learned the importance of acting in a manner that shows Jesus to others, too.
Your actions will mimic your values and those you respect and admire. If the one you worship and imitate is Jesus Christ, then naturally your actions will reflect the light of Jesus to others.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”Matthew 5:16 (ESV)
People pick up on our actions–how we behave, how we treat others, how we get along with others–and from that decide who we are. If our actions imitate Christ, then they will see that we truly belong to Christ.
Ways to Show God’s Love to Others
Sharing God with others through our actions is often more powerful than our words and speech. For me, it really shows you truly believe in God’s love and sharing God’s love if you change your actions to mimic Jesus Christ. He is the one who has demonstrated the greatest love for us by giving his life for us (John 15:13).
Before and after His death, Jesus commands us to show the same kind of love toward each other.
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”John 13:35 (NKJV)
With that in mind, here are 10 wonderful and simple ways that you can show God’s love to others.
How to Love Others Like God
The first three actionable ways to show the love of God to others focus on how to love others like God. We do that through prayer, friendship, and fellowship.
1 – Love Others By Praying for Them
Prayer is such a powerful tool that allows us to connect with God and pour out our hearts to him. Because Jesus has made us right with God, we know that God hears those prayers.
But prayers aren’t just about us! Jesus prayed for his disciples, and we can also pray on behalf of others. I once heard a sermon where the pastor said that we can send blessings over to those who need it with express delivery through prayer.
Lift these words up in prayer, and God will take care of the shipping and handling. 🙂
You could actually send them a prayer journal, too, like this prayer journal for the Psalms, but you may need to handle the shipping. Or send them a card to let them know that you’re praying for them. I love these cards from Dayspring and recently sent one to a friend who lost a loved one.
2 – Love Others by Encouraging Them
Kind and gentle words can soothe a troubled soul. Whether you say these words in person or in a letter or scribble them on a sticky note and stick them on a mirror, your encouragement goes a long way.
I purchased these encouragement cards from Bloom Daily Planners to remind me to encourage others often. They include uplifting and inspiring quotes on one side with room for a personal note on the other.
3 – Love Others by Spending Time with Them
Showing love to someone doesn’t always mean buying a gift or spending a lot of money on an extravagant trip or dinner. You can show love to others simply by spending time with them.
Let the person you love choose the activity, put your phone and laptop away, and give them your undivided attention. We are so busy all of the time that multitasking has become natural to us! But truthfully, multitasking just divides our attention. We miss things. We become distracted. We respond without truly listening.
Think about it…God doesn’t type out a text while He’s listening to our prayer. 🙂
Spend time with the ones you love and make memories together with your complete attention on them.
More Ways to Show God’s Love
No list of ways to show God’s love would be complete without hospitality. In Luke 11, Jesus tells a parable about a man that wants to show hospitality to his guests so he runs to his friend at midnight for food.
“And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him.’”Luke 11:5-6 (ESV)
In Hebrews 11, the author writes: “Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (v. 1-2, ESV).
Whether you are entertaining angels or not, hospitality is a great way to show brotherly love to one another. Here are 4 actionable ways to show God’s love through hospitality.
4 – Show God’s Love by Hosting Others
Opening up your home is a way that you can show God’s love to others and serve others as well. It’s always cozier and more intimate when I attend Bible Study at someone’s house or host it at my apartment. Others at my church have opened up their homes to my church group for events like women’s gatherings and Christmas parties.
Anytime you invite others into your home, you are showing God’s love because God has done the same to us. He invites us to abide with him, dine with him, and ultimately, to spend eternity with him.
“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”John 15:8-10 (ESV)
5 – Show God’s Love by Cooking a Meal for Others
You can invite others over to your residence and give them a home cooked meal or pick up something on the way home and drop it off at the neighbor’s house. However you decide to do it, giving someone a meal is a great way to show hospitality and show God’s love to others.
6 – Show God’s Love by Providing Transportation
You may be reading these ways to show the love of God through hospitality and think, well, my house/apartment is too small or I’m a terrible cook. No worries! Do you have a vehicle?
You can serve and love others by giving them a lift. For example, one of my friends who lives in the city doesn’t have a car, so I would drop by after work and take her to church for our weekly young professional gathering.
It may seem like a small gesture, but being chauffeured around is always appreciated and often needed.
7 – Show God’s Love by Inviting Others into Your Life
If you find yourself saying that you have neither a home for hosting nor cooking skills nor a vehicle, you can still show God’s love to others through hospitality. In fact, when I first learned about hospitality, it was while I was in college. My dorm was teeny-tiny. I had no car. And even though I had mediocre cooking skills, there was no kitchen for me to show those off.
So in a situation like that, how does one show hospitality? It is by inviting others to do life with you. It means inviting them to experience life with you and participating in theirs.
More than just friendship, hospitality is making an intentional effort and going out of your way to make sure the other person feels included, loved, and valued.
For that is how God sees them, too. Thus, by showing hospitality to them in this way, you act as the hands and feet of God, sharing with the person that they are loved by God.
How else do we love others?
Hospitality, prayer, encouragement, time, and attention are great ways that we can show God’s love to others. In addition to those, I’ve included some additional ways that people have shown God’s love to others and to me.
While these things may seem small or insignificant, they’ve had a huge impact on me and shown me what God’s love is really like.
8 – Love Others by Praying with Them
Earlier I mentioned the importance of praying for someone. However, praying with someone can be even more powerful. There are times when we know we need prayer, but we are too tired or overwhelmed to find the right words to say. It is such a blessing to have a friend nearby who bows their head and prays the words you can’t find the strength to pray. Two friends of mine, my prayer warrior friends, often do this for me when I’m feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed by fear.
Their words comfort and encourage me, and also remind me that God is listening and watching out for me.
I’ve also prayed with people whom I didn’t know well. Once I met a woman at work who, the first day we met, expressed her fear of losing her job, so I asked her if I could pray for her. She surprised me when she said yes, but then we both bowed our heads, and I prayed for her. It was the start of a great friendship where we could share God’s love and show God’s love to each other.
Related: God Comforts Us in the Chaos
9 – Love Others by Forgiving Them
Although I mentioned this in the section about “How to Love Others According to the Bible,” it definitely bears repeating. When I have been wronged, there is a period of mourning and hurt, and the last thing on my mind is forgiveness.
However, just as Jesus has reconciled us to God (making peace between us and God), Jesus wants us to be reconciled with each other through forgiveness.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)
10 – Love Others by Doing Chores for Them
Lastly, you can show God’s love to others by simply helping out with their chores and daily tasks. I use the word chores because we all have different tasks that we hate or that take a lot of energy. For me, it’s going grocery shopping. For my parents, it’s mowing the lawn. For someone else, it may be walking the dog, raking the leaves, or mopping the floors.
By offering your help, you can show the love of God to your neighbor and brothers and sisters in Christ. While doing a chore for them, you may also have the opportunity to also tell the person about God’s love and how it has transformed your life.
How to Love Others Like God
With all that I’ve listed in this article, loving others like God seems like a full time job, doesn’t it? There are so many different ways that we can serve and love others. On top of that, it should be something that we strive to do, as God commands us in the Bible to love our neighbor, to love our brother, and to love others.
However, God does not leave us to our own devices to show the love of God to others.
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”Romans 8:11 (ESV)
He has given us a helper, the Holy Spirit, to empower us, strengthen us, and encourage us with God’s love. In this way, we are overflowing with God’s love and are able to pour love into other people without exhausting ourselves.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
Love God, Love Others
Another important part about showing God’s love to others is that we must love God first. When Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus is clear that we should first love God, then love others. He answers:
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”Matthew 22:37b-39 (ESV)
God desires to know us and fill us with His love. He wants us to know Him and delight in spending time with Him. As a natural result of a strong relationship with God, we will be compelled to share God’s love with others.
How to Show Love to your Neighbor
Since the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor, it is something that I need to take more seriously. Life gets busy, work gets crazy, and soon I forget the importance of sharing God’s love with others.
After writing this article, my next step is to humble myself before God and ask Him to fill me with the love of God so that I can share God’s love with others.
Secondly, I pray that He would open my eyes to the different needs of those around me. I ask that He reveal to me how to show love to my neighbor.
In the wonderful ways that He has blessed me, I hope that I may bless others, including you. So, pick one of these ways to show God’s love to others, and let me know how it goes!
How do you show God’s love to others?
Leave me a comment below!
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- Our Compassionate God & Running the Race with Perseverance
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