The word Love is used for almost EVERYTHING!
I LOVE those cute shoes I just bought on sale. I LOVE the chocolate cheesecake that my mother makes me for each birthday. I LOVE my sweet, precious husband. I LOVE my family. I LOVE using my Mac computer. I LOVE Jesus. I LOVE a good run on a beautiful day.
You get the idea. The term love is used in so many different ways, some deep and true while other uses are somewhat superficial.
When you google the phrase “What is love?” you will get nearly 9 billion results. I’m sure some of these might be decent definitions, but I assure you that many of them will not even come close to the true definition of love.
In 1 John 4, we get to see what true love is.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 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. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
Love is a commitment, obedience and heartfelt service rather than just a feeling. Yes, love can bring about wonderful emotions. But there are times that you love out of commitment and promise. I’m sure Christ wasn’t having lovie dovie feelings when he gave up His life, taking our place.
I’ll be honest – there are days that I am grumpy and good lovie feelings are not there in my marriage, in friendships and other relationships. But I have a choice to stay committed to my husband, friends, family and others, to love them and to let God do a work in my heart that can bring joy more than just a fleeting feeling.
We’ve just come through Valentine’s Day this month, a time for material displays of love and affection. Gifts of fragrant flowers, glittery cards, sweet chocolates, candlelit dinners and huggable teddy bears can be seen in so many places.
Gathering these things as a special gift can be an act of love. But if that is all that is connected to love, there is much missing.
Love goes beyond this to so much more.
It’s service. It’s a commitment. It’s caring when you don’t feel like it. It’s taking that 2 a.m. phone call when a friend is in need even though you would love to be fast a sleep in your warm bed.
It’s learning the love languages of your spouse, friends and family so that you know how to show them love in ways that will connect with their heart all year around.
Love means obeying Christ. Like Jesus said in John 14:23, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.”
An old Swedish proverb says “Love me when I least deserve it because that is when I really need it.”
That is love. And Isn’t that what Christ did for us?
When we were covered in filthy disobedience, shame and sin (what seems like quite an unlovable state), Christ loved us, cared for us and gave us a way out.
Now we as Christ followers are to live out the same love. And God gave some directions for this.
We are to love Him with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength. Then we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. Jesus goes on to say, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
There is no way that we can love this way on our own, but Christ made a way and a promise. Before He returned to the Father, He said that a counselor and guide was going to be sent to help us, the Holy Spirit. He helps us live out the teachings of God and through that love others unconditionally
As we finish out our month of love, remember that God is the source of love, that only through turning to Him and learning to love Him more will we be able to be filled with love, commitment and sacrifice for those around us, then making a difference in our world.
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