“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.” 1 John 3.16-18
How do we define love? Do we listen to country and western songs on the radio and take notes of the ups and downs of those ballads? Do we look in the dictionary for Webster to explain it? Or do we turn on the televisions to see how love is defined? There are ways many understand love. To some, love is based on emotions, how you feel, what you want, what you desire. Love is not really love but it’s lust. It’s often personal agendas driven from a heart of flesh, evil and selfish.
But the Bible defines love as God and as what Jesus did for humanity. John writes, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” Period. End of story. Any other definition of love besides it being “God” is false. It’s selfish and it’s flesh-driven. The recent slogan “love is love” intended to make allowance for any kind of relationships, even though the Bible forbids it, is just false. Love is God and love is Jesus’ sacrifice for us upon the cross.
As a result of his incredible act of love, we now must love each other. What Jesus did for us now must be replicated so that “we ought to lay down our lives for each other.”
How do we lay down our lives for one another? We imitate the actions of Jesus. He healed the sick, fed the hungry and gave sight to the blind. He preached a gospel of repentance because he knew that holiness of heart and life is the only way to connect with the Father. By imitating the actions of Jesus we are able to love others as Christ loved us.
Is it easy? By no means! I sometimes force myself to love even when I feel devoid of the emotion. Even when I cringe at the thought of crowds, I still push through. And typically, what tends to happen — even when I am depleted of energy — the Spirit of God gives me strength. He helps me in my weakness.
Love is God. Love is not easy, but Jesus has made a way for us to love God and to love others.
Will you walk in this love today?
“O Lord God, come down. Speak to your people. Redeem your land. Renew your Spirit among your churches and bring revival to your Body. I praise you Lord for defining and modeling love. I exalt your holy name and praise you among the nations. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen