Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
What Is Love?
Love has been described as a feeling, an emotion, or something that is attractive, but really love is not just a noun; love is a verb. Love is what you do more than what you feel. Feelings are fine, but the true measure of love is by what is done, not by what is felt. Has there ever been any greater display of what love really is than what was done on the cross (John 15:13)? That was the most defining moment in human history because it bridged the unbridgeable gap that stood between humans and God due to sin (Isaiah 59:1-2). Is that your view of love? For the longest time, I had confused what love really was from what love really is. Real love is a sacrificial, selfless, giving action that does more than what is felt or said. Talk is cheap, but action is a lot louder than words. When I read about what Christ did for me–and for many others–I had to redefine what love really is. Love is not what is felt but what is done. Love is a verb; it’s what you do.
I Love the …
I have seen a lot of bumper stickers that have read “I love the (name of a football team),” “I love weekends,” they love this and that, but that is not really love to me. That is a very strong like, yes, but that’s not what love is really all about. Is your view of love based upon the world’s view of love? Mine was for the longest time. I had the wrong idea about what love really is. I fixed the word “love” on things and not people or, most of all, God, but God displayed His love for us first before we ever loved Him (1 John 4:19). He made the first move; He was the first to love. We didn’t initiate that love. Even our love for God comes from God Himself by His Spirit. Sometimes we confuse love with lust, but lust is really the exact opposite of love because if often desires something that’s not good for us (except in marriage), and we lust after things that will hurt is. Love never hurts us, if it is, indeed, real love.
God, the Author and Giver of Love
God is love (1 John 4:8), and we can say we love God, but in reality, the Bible says that God poured out His love into us by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5), so our own love for God did not even originate with us. But once we are regenerated by the Spirit of God, only then can we truly love God according to the biblical definition. We might think we know what love is, but is it based upon the way the world defines it or the way God’s Word does? Love is patient and kind, doesn’t brag or boast, isn’t arrogant, doesn’t dishonor people, doesn’t keep a record of wrongs, doesn’t delight in sin but always loves truth, has hope, always perseveres, and includes trust (1 Cor. 13:4-7), and when everything else will fail, love never does (1 Cor. 13:8). Love is what love does–it is action-oriented, not a touchy-feely, intangible thing.
A Closing Prayer
Great God in heaven, I thank You that You first loved me, even though I was unlovable. You still reached down out of heaven to save a sinner like me and then sent Your Son to die for me. That is what real love is, and I thank You for Your love. In Jesus’ name I pray.
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