True Love Is…

 For God so loved the world that…..

We have all been bombarded by the ‘wave of Valentine’s Day’ since 12th January. You know how stores tend to go straight from Christmas to Valentine’s because there is no holiday in January? We have red decorations, teddy bears, chocolate and flowers everywhere. I have never been a fan of the ‘commercialized love’ day myself. Probably because the bulk of society misrepresents what love should be. But that’s not why I’m here. For me, February 14th always comes along with John 3:16. It may sound cliché, but I don’t think a year has passed when this bible verse doesn’t take center stage during my Valentine’s Day. After all, God is love so it must start with Him.

For God So Loved The World That…..

Let’s think about that for a minute. Everything after that statement points back to the motivation behind the action. God so loved, therefore He gave for the sake of reconciliation/ salvation. He loved us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8) and that love was the reason for giving His only begotten Son to come and die for our sins so He could draw us back to Himself for eternity.

This perfect example constantly pushes me to:

  • inspect my motive
  • love in deed and truth

Is Love My Motivation?

Do I give (in church, to charity, in time to those who need it) because of love or only out of abundance? Do I serve out of love or out of the desire to be part of something in church? Do I reach out to the lost because Christ loved them enough to die for them and so I must follow in this love by making Him known to them or only because our church needs more members to fill the empty pews? Do I buy her flowers to keep her from nagging me? Do I get him gifts only as a hint so he can recognize that I want gifts from him? Do I become a part of their wedding committee only so they can be a part of mine when the time comes?

Before I can answer all these, I have to ask, “Do I even love in the first place?” 1st Corinthians 13 comes in with a timely test for love. Most people tend to use it when in romantic relationships while the Apostle Paul actually wrote it to the believers in Corinth. In fact, he addresses love as a more excellent way; that which gives meaning to everything that we do (even manifestation of gifts). To put it in another way, he is saying that anything that is not founded in love is a waste.

Now, some of us might think that it is impossible to always do everything from love. This is often the result of viewing love as a feeling instead of understanding it beyond emotion. Love is not butterflies and/ or overwhelming mushiness. Feelings aren’t sustainable. My encouragement to us would be to continually search the bible for a better understanding of love in order to push out the love-is-a-feeling mentality. A renewal of our minds can only happen with continual transformation by the Word.

Loving in Deed

For God so loved the world that…..

Now that we love, it should compel us to action. It is easy (like faith) to profess love only with our words. But like James clearly puts it with faith, John does the same with love.

1st John 3:18 (KJV)

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

First, he tells us to love indeed is to do so in deed. Before this, in verses 16&17, John tells us about laying down one’s life for a brother. He then asks how God’s love can dwell in us if we see our brother in need and don’t help them although we have the means to. It might mean that we have to go out of our way and sacrifice. {The picture that comes to my head is that of the woman who gave two copper coins in the temple (Mark 12:41-44).} John then tells us that love indeed can only be in truth; we know that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. So it has to be His love in us overflowing to others around.

The Greatest Commandments

Christ summarized all the commandments into two: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as you love yourself (Matthew 22:35-40). See how love plays a central role? See how love is foundational?

Therefore, although Valentine’s Day is long gone and February 2019 is far ahead, don’t’ forget about love. Love God and love His people not only in words but in deed and in truth. Let that love be your motivation.

1st Corinthians 13:13 (NKJV)

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of this is love.

 

PS: Let me know any questions or topics you’d like tackled. Baraka!

10 thoughts on “True Love Is…

  1. I love the piece. Thanks for writing.

    “His love in us overflowing to others” . That’s the key. Coz we cannot love God and others as we ought to except by His grace enabling us to do so. So then, we look to Him to work it out in us as we fill ourselves with His Word.

    Liked by 1 person

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