c) IMPURE LOVE
In this world, it is hard to find purity in love. One of the noblest forms of love is a mother’s love for her son. A mother showers unconditional on her son all through his growing up days. But when he grows up and gets married, the picture changes. Often the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law clashes end up tearing apart every bit of love between the mother and son. The mother feels like she is losing control and is unable to influence her son. Even this great model of love is susceptible to impure conditions and motives of control and selfishness.
Now that we have seen the pitfalls in human love, let’s approach God’s love from His Word and through His Son Jesus Christ. The best place to understand God’s love is at the Cross.
1) GOD’S LOVE IS A PERSON
God’s love is a person. When we open our heart and invite Him into our heart, God who is love comes to reside in us. Some people think that becoming a follower of Jesus means changing our style of dressing and hairstyle. But what’s the point of such an outward change if we have no iota of love anywhere in our hearts? Christian faith is not about a set of rules; rather it is a love relationship with God. This love relationship then transforms our attitude, emotions and will.
2) GOD’S LOVE IS SUPERNATURAL
Man has no understanding of how to live out that love. Romans 5:5 says, ‘Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.’ The Holy Spirit is the one who pours out the love of God supernaturally into our hearts. This gift fills our hearts with the overflowing love of God. Many of us don’t realize that this love is available for us. We may acknowledge that God is love but wouldn’t believe that we can be partakers of that love. This love of God is more than sufficient to heal all our problems and bring happiness, joy and a better foundation for our lives.
Let’s now define this love of God in more practical terms.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (New King James Version)
4 Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud,5 never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. 6 It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. 7 If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.
8 All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever. Someday prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge—these gifts will disappear.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Living Bible Translation
This passage describes God’s love beautifully. Many love stories in the world often end tragically. But the Bible says that God’s love never fails or disappoints. In fact, the miracles and prophecies of today are results of Adam’s fall. But a time will come when we won’t need them. The only thing that will continue even then is God’s love.
Moving on, we know now that human love is often tainted by pride, envy and other evil. It is highly influenced by limited understanding, desires and emotions. Let us examine some of the differences between this counterfeit love and the original divine love of God.
…to be continued…