Do you wonder what love TRULY is? Do you want to learn more about loving as a Believer? Then join us below as we discover the power of God’s perfect love and how YOU can walk in it!
“Love” As a Word…
Most likely, each of us have a different mental picture upon hearing the word, love. Further, our reactions or feelings just from hearing that simple, four-letter word may be vastly different. Yet, even so, most of us would agree with some of the dictionary definitions…
The Merriam-Webster dictionary provides nine noun definitions of the word, “love,” and four verb definitions… ranging from tennis terminology to forms of affection. However, at the heart of the most biblically accurate of these descriptions are words such as these: affection, attachment, devotion, admiration, unselfish, loyal, and benevolent.
Yet, once we consider God’s Word—though many of the dictionary definitions are accurate to a point—none capture even a hint of the love which God pours out and has poured out through His Son and Holy Spirit!
“Love” In the Word…
1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” and Romans 13:8-10, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Love is the greatest thing. It fulfills all law and brings us into alignment with God’s heart. After all, if we love God—even a fraction of how He loves us—then we will do nothing which we know would hurt Him; be that disobeying Him, dishonoring His people, hurting anyone, or any other sin. Love synchronizes us with our Creator because He IS love!
“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”—1 John 4:8
For mankind it may be easier to say, “I’ll walk in love,” than to actually do it. However, with God—our source of strength—being a perfect example of how to walk in love, we can grow in that same kind of love. From creating us in His image, to calling us His children, to sending His only Son to die for our iniquity… over and over again, God pours out His love upon us, teaching us how to walk in love. Teaching through example.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a Warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with joy; He will be quiet in His love [making no mention of your past sins], He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”—Zephaniah 3:17 (AMP)
From the Old Testament to the New we find this teaching, yet, for many of us as Believers, it is through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus that love—true, Godly love—was laid before us as a guide. It is His story successfully touching our hearts again and again.
“You are to love the Lord Yahweh, your God, with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, with every thought that is within you, and with all your strength. This is the great and supreme commandment.”—Mark 12:30 (TPT)
Jesus Himself told us that loving God is the greatest commandment, and that loving others is the next. Yet, He did not just tell us about love, He showed us about love… through living, through dying horribly, through taking back what we GAVE away to Satan, rising again, and even through ascending to Heaven to sit at the right hand of our Father—making intercession on our behalf.
“…I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”—Matthew 5:44-48
Jesus taught us of the importance of love, but more than that He lived it, died for it, and rose again for it. For, as Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God taught us in the clearest, best way possible that love is not merely reserved for those who love us or do what we want, but because the truest love is without expectation. Love—Godly love—is not supposed to be contingent upon our receiving any benefit.
Yes, we know that there is benefit in loving God—from His blessings to our very salvation—however, the truest love is where we choose to love even if those things were not present. Love with expectation, while still love, lacks the depth of love found in God.
So, how do we walk in love? Well, God is always the best answer. Asking Him, seeking Him, listening to the Holy Spirit within us. Those all set our hearts into the proper place to accept and give love more fully. Yet, it is important to note that love is in many ways a choice. Choosing kindness instead of a harsh response. Compassion instead of anger. A gentle word instead of rebuff.
To paraphrase something Curt Landry has said many times, “You don’t have to like everyone, but you do have to love them.”
Choosing to love our enemies does not mean moving in with them, marrying them, or even creating a friendship with them—unless God specifically says to do so. Instead it is choosing to pray for them when they harm us. Repaying their unkindness with kindness.
It means walking as Jesus did. Not with a confused love, thinking we must take it upon ourselves to be like Jesus when He overturned the money-changers tables in His Father’s house. But with a love that flows from a heart who seeks the Father’s heart first, just as Jesus did, then doing what He saw His Father doing. The love of Jesus healing the ear of one sent to take Him to trial… or restoring Peter from his denial of Him three times, asking him three times, “do you love me more than these?”
Love is a choice. One we can all make with the help of the truest definition of love. God.
If you would like to learn more about the greatest gift, love, and how to give that gift, then click HERE!
If you would like to discover how to love is to be a warrior, then click HERE to learn more!
If you would like to know what love looks like, then click HERE!
If you would like to learn about the Father’s love, then click HERE!
If you would like to give of the love God has given to you, then click HERE to learn how!