We hear the word “love” all the time. In fact it may be one of the most popular topics that people discuss. With Valentine’s Day coming up the word love is amplified with consumers spending billions to express their love for their loved ones.
Love comes in many forms, whether it is loving a spouse, a family member, friends, children or material items such as a new bag or a holiday destination. At times the word love can be overused and used out of context.
So what is Love?
The Biblical Perspective:
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ~
Based on this scripture love is not a feeling. It is a lifestyle that all Christians should cultivate. I would generally say that I love people, however sometimes I really have to challenge myself on whether I actually do. Reality is, you can love someone one day and then as soon as they provoke you, that “love” was a distant memory. Love is so much deeper than this.
The Two Greatest Commandments:
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
~ Matthew 22:37-40 ~
In this scripture one of the Scribes asks Jesus, “which is the greatest commandment in the law?” The answer Jesus gives is to love God and to love others.
Loving God First:
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
~ Deuteronomy 6:5 ~
First and foremost, we have to love God first. The Bible says that we should love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). God is Love (1 John 4:8) and He has shown this to us through His Son Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
~ John 3:16 ~
God’s love for us is unconditional. The Greek word for this is Agape which is the kind of love that is sacrificial and self-less. The best part about God’s love is that whilst we were still sinners, He continued to demonstrate His love towards us (Romans 5:8).
The Call to Love Others:
Loving others is not the easiest thing to do. In fact, it can be one of the hardest things. So what happens when you have to love the unlovable?
Last year I went through exactly this. I really had to contend for God to work in my own heart so that I could endure this particular person. Looking back at my journal entry from 06.05.2017, I prayed over this situation and God answered me.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
~ John 15:12 ~
When God gave me this word, all I could think was really? A whole me? Was God seriously asking me to love this person after everything? Then the following scripture came to mind.
Love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
~ 1 Corinthians 13:7 ~
I had to ask God to teach me how to do all of these things because I realised that love will always win (1 Corinthians 13:8). So if you struggle with loving yourself, loving people or loving God. Just remember:
1. God loves you.
God loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3), and as you go through this journey with Him, He will also bring people into your life who also love you.
2. God will give you the strength to love others.
If you struggle with loving people, pray about it. Ask God to give you a new heart so that you are able to extend love to others.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
~ Ezekiel 36:26 ~
3. Love God first.
Most importantly, LOVE GOD FIRST. In doing so you will be able to understand the love that he has towards you and this will make it easier for you to love others.
So what is Love to you? Please leave your comments below and be sure to subscribe.
P.s. For the next four weeks I will be writing about aspects of love from 1 Corinthians 13.
God bless Nkay