7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 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. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:7-11
Last week, we concluded the teaching on the law of faith. This week, we are going to start the Love series. We’ll be exploring what the Bible says about loving God and loving one another.
GOD IS LOVE
We have heard a zillion times the phrase ‘God is love’. Let us try to unpack this statement. The dictionary defines love as ‘intense affection based on familial or personal ties’. That’s how the world describes love. It is based on personal or familial affinity. The Biblical definition of love has many facets. But the starting point is God. We can understand love only when we look at the source of love – God.
FEW BIBLICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF LOVE
At the outset, let us lay out some characteristics of ‘Love’.
- Love is the greatest thing. 1 Corinthians 13 states that love is the greatest of all.
- Love is the foundation of victorious living. Even faith works only when love is present. Our faith can be exercised only when we operate in God’s love.
- Love enlarges the vision, goal and purpose of life. Absence of love in person’s life reflects in a self-centered lifestyle. For many people, life is all about around their small little family, achieving the necessary milestones and saving up for a retirement nest. But true love thinks of others. It thinks of fulfilling God’s plans and purpose in their life. It believes that God has a calling for them. Once a person understands that aspect of love, then their vision enlarges. Then God’s provision steps out to meet the enlarged vision. An immense outpouring of His blessings fill up their lives.
LITMUS TEST FOR TRUE LOVE
There are many kinds of love in this world. Most of them even may have a semblance of God’s love because we are created in the image and likeness of God. For e.g. – The love between a husband and wife is called Eros in Greek. Love among friends is called Phileos. Greek language distinguishes different kinds of love with different names.
Jesus displayed love while He was on earth. He loved the unlovable and unworthy around Him. This stunned His audience because they had never seen anything like that before.
We see cheap imitations of this love in the tabloids every day. But such love fails and is imperfect. God’s love is the real deal.
Therefore, it’s pertinent for each of us to take stock of our love tank. We need to examine our love with the Bible to gauge whether our love tank has the true love or a cheap and marred reflection of it. If it’s the latter, don’t worry there is still hope. We can fill up our tank with the true love of God in every area of our lives.
…to be continued…