You’ve heard me do lessons on love before. I preach love, but I also do my best to live by it rules. I’ve heard it said that if you love truly and honestly that you will receive love in return. I don’t remember where I heard that, but for some reason, this subject fell heavily on my heart this morning. I believe that there are many types of love and that the most important of these is God’s Love.
When most people are asked what love means, they give you indefinable “feelings” like attraction, and affection. These are very superficial definitions for something that in it’s truest form should be eternal, like God’s Love is for us. Love is practical and tangible. You’ve heard that actions speak louder than words. Well, in this case, that statement couldn’t be more accurate. True love, not romantic love, but true love, from the heart inspires us to mindfully control our words and actions.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a - “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.”
The word for love in the Bible is agape. It means, affection and goodwill, motivated by benevolence. This means that you are doing what is best for the one loved. Not yourself. Our actions are controlled by our will. Not our feelings. Though many react because of our feelings, instead of our will. God is the original and only source of the truest form of love.
1 John 4:7-11 – “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we 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.”
God sacrificed His One and Only Son in His perfect love for us. This was God’s gift to us, in order to save our souls and to enable us to be with Him in Eternity. Our sin makes us unlovable, but God loves us anyway. In John 13:35, Jesus tells us that, all men will know that we are His disciples if we have love for one another. Real love, the Biblical kind, shows that we have been born again, in the perfect love of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 13 is used in many a wedding ceremony, but it is so much more than that. Paul was teaching on Spiritual Gifts, which should not only be prevalent in our marriages, but in our lives as a whole. Believers in Christ, receive “gifts” from the Holy Spirit according to God’s Will. God gave us these gifts to enable us to encourage each other and to serve one another. As we serve one another in love, we mature in Christ.
Superficial desires sometimes causes us to place misguided importance to things in the Kingdom of God and what makes us good Christians. In reality, this gives us a false sense of value, inflates our egos, concerning the Kingdom. The gifts bestowed upon us by the Holy Spirit are great, but without love are meaningless. Love is the only thing that will make it through to Eternity with our Father in Heaven.
Do you really know what Biblical love is? Do you know how to love in practical ways that please God? Do you know how to love in a way that reveals your Spiritual identity as a Christian? Love is essentially a fruit of the Holy Spirit, giving us the ability to put aside deeds of the flesh, like anger, pride, self-centeredness, jealousy, and ungodliness. The key to practical Biblical love is sanctification by the Holy Spirit. Here are some tips on that Biblical love…
1. Rid yourself of all jealousy or envy. Don’t allow yourself to be provoked into anger.
2. Pride is the opposite of love. So don’t brag of yourself or your deeds.
3. Being self-centered is when we pursue what we want, despite how much it might hurt someone else. It is also when you hold onto the wrongs done to you and putting a value on relationships only because there’s something in it for you. This is not love.
4. Participating in un-godliness isn’t limited in today’s culture. That doesn’t make it right. The more time that passes the more wicked the world becomes. Put more emphasis on how your choices effect others.
5. Patience is when you’re more focused on others. Use restraint and be slow to anger in the face of provocation.
6. Rejoice in the truth and kindness of LOVE.
I’m always telling you that you should treat others as you want to be treated. The Bible is God’s guide to us. How can we learn to be better Christ followers if we’re not willing to follow that guide? You tell me!
Go forth, walk in love and be an example of God’s love for us.
God Loves You! Jesus Loves You!! And I do too!