“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.” I John 4:8
L is for love. Love is an intense feeling of deep affection. That seems like such a simple definition; yet, how often do we struggle with love in our relationships? Love for a spouse. Love for a parent. Love for a child. Love for our neighbors. Love for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Love for the church. Love for God. Who knew that there were so many relationships in our lives … and these are only a small part of them?
I know this is not Valentine’s Day … or even close to it … but I would like for us to take a moment and reflect on what true love is. I am sure that at some time or another you have told someone that they were your “true love.” If you have not, you more than likely have heard someone else say it. But, what is true love anyways? Let us take a look.
True love revolves around God. What? Do you mean to tell me that love does not revolve around a man? No, it does not. Why do I say that true love revolves around God? Because I John 4:8 tells us that “God IS love.” So, in truth, our definition above should read, “Love IS God.” Am I correct?
So, since God is love and true love revolves around Him, then where does that leave us? Well, if we are His children, we are to love as God loves. Again, I John 4:8 tells us that “He that loveth not, knoweth not God …” What else can we learn about true love?
· True love loves with ALL its heart — Deuteronomy 6:5 “And thou shalt love the LORD they God with ALL thine heart …”
· True love loves with all or loves with nothing; there is no in-between; it is either one or the other — Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other …”
· True love does not rely on words, but is fulfilled in action — John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He GAVE …”
· True love loves the unlovely — Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
· True love is unconditional; we must love even when others do not do what we want them to do — ouch! This is a tough one for me because I am a very detailed person and on my sanest day, it drives me up the wall if others do not fall into place. I want everyone and everything to go as I want … but, I am learning that it is NOT at all about ME, but it is ALL about HIM!
· True love does not have to agree with someone to love them (let that sink in for a minute); Christ ate with Publicans and sinners, yet did not participate in their sin; He loved them even while they were living in sin.
· True love is the test of our faith; if we truly know God, then we will be able to love others — I John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”
Lesson Objective: To understand what true love is. To examine yourself to see if you are living a life of true love toward God and man. Who is God telling you to love? Is it a wayward spouse, a rebellious child, a brother or sister in Christ? Who?
Did you pass or did you fail?