Love is a wondrous and mysterious thing. We all want, crave, desire, and hope for it. Love is powerful, and can change the world. I am not expert in Love, and have to admit that like the rest of world am trying to figure it out. If there is something I have learned its that you can’t fabricate love. Love is a verb. Sure sending roses, and leaving love notes is action, but at the core there has to be true love. Yes, certainly there is a time to romance, and show affection, but love isn’t just about gestures. Love is sacrificial, and the very nature of it demands such action. I have to admit I know all to well about loving someone that doesn’t love you back. No matter how much you want the other person, you can’t make them love you if there is no genuine love there.
So what is love? The bible gives us a definition of sorts in 1 Corinthians 13. This is passage of Scripture that I am sure has been used countless times in weddings, and wall art. But I have to caution anyone in just casually reading these words. Read slowly, and let the crushing weight of these words sink in.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;
Could anyone ever realistically love this way? Fortunately, for us there is One. The Person who is Love, God the Father. Scripture tells us that He is love, and “we love because He first loved us.” It was love that brought God the Son, Jesus to earth, to the cross, and grave. It was God’s love for humanity that crushed His Son at the cross. Not because we deserved to be saved, but because God loved us so much that He could not help but respond. That is what love does. It sees a need, and moves to meet it. It doesn’t ask the need if wants to be met. It does it whether or not the need loves back or shows appreciation. Love is doing without expecting anything in return. That is the only way true sacrificial love can operate.
What if we all could love this way? Not just for a moment through out the day, but consistently. Sin has marred our ability to love as God intended, and it makes it difficult for us to do so. We just don’t have the ability to do it on our own. We can’t love someone this way because we can’t give someone what we don’t have. So where is the hope? It is found in Christ Jesus.
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:3-4)
When we come to know Him, we are given the ability to sacrificially love as He did. We become a new creation because He comes to live inside of us.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature ; the old things passed away ; behold, new things have come. (2 Cor. 5:17)
He doesn’t just leave us in our sinful nature, but gives us the power to love.
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
We are gifted by the Holy Spirit to love.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22)
Love is a choice, not a feeling. As Christ made His way to the cross, I am sure that He did not feel very loving. But He chose to submit to His Father, and the cross. Jesus chose love. We place too much emphasis on emotion, and feeling and get deceived into believing that we are in love or genuinely loving someone. Jesus is the example for us to model.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children ; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (Eph. 5:1)
Doing so fulfills the law, and glorifies Jesus the One whom we truly serve.
For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” (Gal. 5:14)
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” (Col. 3:23-24)
I hope to find true love one day, to meet the love of my life so to speak. But, I like all of us, have been called to a greater purpose. Thankfully, because of our Heavenly Father, we are able to.
“YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND ; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”