What Is Love?
Written by Christi Given | February 25, 2014
This month represents the celebration of love, and gives us that friendly reminder to cherish friends, family and your significant other if you have one. This week, I want to talk about the meaning of love in the Bible. How God defines love, and why it is SO important to God. Literally the top two most important commandments are pertaining to love.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” –John 13:35
The basis for my Bible study will be out of a popular book, 1 Corinthians chapter 13. It is frequently rehearsed and recited at weddings and even some non-Christians quote it because it is powerful. God is love, and therefore love is powerful. (1 John 4:7)
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” –1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
As it says in verse 8, love NEVER FAILS. Did you read that? It never, ever fails. What would our world look like if we really took this to heart and lived out 1 Corinthians 13, a life of love? How would our relationships be? Let’s take on the challenge by reminding ourselves to be love. Not just show love when we feel like it, but actually apply it in our lives, even in the sticky situations or to the people who are the hardest to deal with and love.
If you dissect each aspect of love, it is really humbling and is something we should all evaluate in our own lives. God takes us loving people and living out our faith in love as one of His commandments, not just a suggestion. When God commands, we know there is a reason.
Let’s look at the list of what Paul described love as in Chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians:
1.Love is patient.
2. Love is kind.
3. Love does not envy.
4. Love does not boast.
5. Love is not proud.
6. Love does not dishonor others.
7. Love is not self-seeking.
8. Love is not easily angered.
9. Love keeps no record of wrongs.
10. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
11. Love always protects.
12. Love always trusts/
13. Love always hopes.
14. Love always perseveres.
15. Love never fails.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ‘‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. “ -Matthew 22:37-39
Jesus tells us to love the Lord with ALL of our heart. Many times we can skim through these scriptures and think we do love God because we go to church or we read a chapter in the Bible a couple of times. That is good, but what I am trying to say is this verse doesn’t mean “partial devotion,” but honoring God with our lifestyle (transformation) in how we live and worship. WHOLEheartedly. Sometimes believers can say with their mouths that they love God, but can be disobeying HIm or not truly glorifying Him with their actions.
The opposite side of the coin is the person who DOES honor God with their life, and could seem like a light and like they are walking with God, but they are not very kind to people, or they can be mean-spirited. We need to love our family, friends and neighbors with this love we feel toward God. Why? Because that is how they will know you are followers of Jesus; they will see God’s love in you and it could lead them to the Lord. No one is perfect, but these are gentle reminders to love God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and to cherish and love others, too.
Verses 1-3 in the book of 1 Corinthians means that you can be religious or gifted, but if you don’t have love, your faith means nothing. That shows you God is serious about this commandment–do you agree? We are all a work in progress, and of course we can ask God to show us where we fall short and where we need improvement. I want to become more like Jesus, but the truth is we can’t do this without the help of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. I encourage you to keep reading the Bible, praying and seeking God daily. Ask him for a pure heart and mind, and to show His perfect, unfailing love with others.
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” –1 Corinthians 13:1-3
PI girls, what practical ways can we show love to people? What part of 1 Corinthians are you going to work on in your own personal walk? Comment below! I love you PI girls!