About a week ago, I posted on facebook, “What is the True Meaning of Love”? I got a couple of really good answers back. However, being Valentine’s Day ( a man made holiday celebrating “Love”) I figured I would dive in a little further to find out just what love is and how we could be more effective and more intentional about showing it. After all, one of my favorite sayings around my house to my kids is, Love your neighbor as yourself. How are they to know how to do that, if they don’t know what love is or what it is supposed to be?
For many of us, love is a gushy feeling we get. For others, it is a four letter word we need not say or do. So is it a feeling, an action or a choice? Or is it even real at all?
I have struggled with love most of my life, if I am being honest. I have put my heart on the line several times, as I am sure you have, only to have it handed back to me shattered into pieces. I have thought I have felt love and I have thought I have given love, but it was not until I truly surrendered my life to the Lord that I began to understand love and what it really is. You see, many of us go out looking for love, trying to fill the void that our hearts long for. But the truth is, there is only One who can fill that void and only one True love for us all. That is Jesus! You see, in our human flesh, none of us are truly capable of love. Love must come from the author of love and that is God. And through God, we get His One and Only Son Jesus, who is the mirror of love in human form. How? Let me explain.
John 3:16-17 states, “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him.”
What do we get from this? Love is a sacrificial, selfless act, of giving to someone else, what they can not repay and can not afford. Love is a choice in the fact that we must be willing to literally lay down our lives for the sake of someone else. Love is an action is the sense that we must severe others out of kindness, not expecting anything in return. And Love is a feeling, in the sense that once we surrender ourselves to the Lord wholeheartedly, we begin to have compassion and see the hurting world as God sees it.
So how do we obtain the True Meaning Love? It must first start with True Surrender of ourselves to the Lord. For it is in Him and only Him, that we are able to Love the way we were created to Love. You see, Jesus died a brutal death, beaten, whipped, and hung naked on a cross just so we did not have to pay to price of eternal death. (LOVE) He paid the price would could never afford to pay ourselves.(LOVE) He sacrificed His life, that we might have it.(LOVE) He made the choice to come from His throne, to this Earth to save us and redeem us!(LOVE) That is love! And that is how we are to model love, act in love and choose to love. God gave us Love in Jesus, so in order to love others as ourselves (or love your neighbor as yourself), you must love like Jesus. Make sense?
So my challenge to you this Valentine’s Day is to Love! Love like God first loved us. Love like Jesus showed us how to love, by giving of yourself fully surrendered to the Lord first, then to others, both directly and indirectly. Choose to give freely of yourself and with the gifts that God has blessed you with
Reading: We Must Love Each Other
1 John 3:11-24
11 This is the teaching you have heard from the beginning: We must love each other. 12 Do not be like Cain who belonged to the Evil One and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because the things Cain did were evil, and the things his brother did were good. 13 Brothers and sisters, do not be surprised when the people of the world hate you. 14 We know we have left death and have come into life because we love each other. Whoever does not love is still dead.15 Everyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, 16 This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for our brothers and sisters.17 Suppose someone has enough to live and sees a brother or sister in need, but does not help. Then God’s love is not living in that person. 18 My children, we should love people not only with words and talk, but by our actions and true caring. 19-20 This is the way we know that we belong to the way of truth. When our hearts make us feel guilty, we can still have peace before God. God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.21 My dear friends, if our hearts do not make us feel guilty, we can come without fear into God’s presence.22 And God gives us what we ask for because we obey God’s commands and do what pleases him.23 This is what God commands: that we believe in his Son, Jesus Christ, and that we love each other, just as he commanded.24 The people who obey God’s commands live in God, and God lives in them. We know that God lives in us because of the Spirit God gave us.
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