So how do we love? We love because He first loved us. He says, therefore, love one another. But the first commandment is this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your strength. Then love your neighbor as yourself.
Jesus says, abide in My love. Abide. Put your full weight upon it. Abide in My Word. Rest your full trust, full belief in God and His Word. Abiding within the reality of who you really are and the completed work He did in Christ. Abiding has to do with fully believing. Not trying to believe. Not trying to love. Not trying to become. Abiding has to do with knowing who you are, not just mentally, but with your whole heart, fully embracing God and what He has said about you.
He says you have everything you need for life and godliness. He says you are designed to love. You have been given love as a gift. You love. In the core of who you really are as a new creation in Christ, you love God and you love others, and you love yourself. Abide in His love. Abide within the reality He declares. His reality is the true reality.
And others, if they are believers, transformed by the Living God, they love you! In the core of who they really are as His children, they love you. The expression of this love is realized by belief, not trying to love. Assume love. Assume a believer in Jesus Christ loves you. And you love them. Walk in this love. Regard no man according to the flesh. We are growing in maturity in expressing and walking in this love. We grow in love by resting in the finished work of Christ at the cross. We are beings who love. There is no excuse not to love because God gave us Himself, filled us with Himself, and works within us through His Spirit. Nothing will separate us from His love. We are born from love.
We love because it is who we are, not who we are trying to be. This is a central difference I believe. We love through abiding in Christ. His love pours into our hearts and out through our hearts as He brings us around others whom He wants us to love.
Assume love. Assume God's children love you, even those who do not express that love accurately yet. If they are born of God, they love you. If it's not functioning fully, there are truths not yet believed. So we love and disciple each other to grow up in the full expression of love, just as Christ laid down His life for His friends.