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Loving someone is probably one of hardest things for us to accomplish. Telling someone that they are loved does not ensure that they feel loved. How do we love someone like they want to be loved? This is how all of us experience love, someone is willing to communicate love in a way that connects with our hearts and lives.  The individualism, the entitlement, and the selfish vision of truth in our society are barriers to us loving another person, but they also are barriers to us experiencing love. In our series What the World Needs Now Is we consider the power of Steadfast Love. It is love that has strength to weather storms and overcome barriers. The finest love that humanity has to offer is steadfast love because it will not give up or give in, it will not forsake or surrender. Yet, we know this is rare and exceptional in humanity, most always we only love those who love us! God’s love in Jesus is the one source of a truly steadfast love that seeks to fill us with the sense that we are loved without hesitation or reservation. We are loved not because we have done every correctly, but we are loved in spite of our failures! The early Christians were struggling to love each other, even though they had experienced the love of Jesus Christ.  In 1 John 3:14-24, the Apostle is trying to help them live beyond judgement and condemnation and into the power of the love of Jesus Christ. In order to do this, they had to make different choices and make renewed efforts, but not to do it would be moving into darkness, death, and despair. The Apostle John shows them and us a new path to find a love that will not give up or give in, it will not forsake or surrender. It does not work by fear, condemnation, or shame. Instead, it fills us with confidence, certainty, and strength that we are loved. This is our continuing and frequent prayer that the love of God will fill your soul to overflowing as you read 1 John 3:14-24: We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. (NIV)