I love pizza. I love The Bulls. I love winter. I love my wife. I love donuts.
One of these things is not like the others.
We talk about love a lot, or at least we say the word “love” a lot. We talk about the things that we love, the places we love, the characters on our favorite T.V. show that are now “in love.” But I fear that in our love-soaked speech we have actually missed, or at least heavily diluted the true meaning of love. We have overused the word without actually understanding what it means, or who it should be connected to.
So, with that in mind, here are a few verses that will help remind us of the true meaning and true reality of love.
John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Jesus did just that, He died for us showing greater love to us than we deserve, which leads into the verse below.
Romans 5:8 – “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
At just the right time, while we were His enemies, while we were weak, while we were completely unlovable…Jesus loved us in the most powerful of ways.
1 John 4:7-8 – “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love.”
If we have been impacted by God’s love, then it ought to be evident in our lives.
1 John 4:19 – “We love because He first loved us.”
We can only understand what true love is because God first showed us that true love.
Today, I had the privilege of preaching the good news of the Gospel, the good news of Jesus’ love, at Pacific Garden Mission. It’s a wonderful ministry that serves men, women, and children who find themselves in the midst of some of life’s hardest circumstances. (If you would like to know more about this rescue mission click here.)
Today, as I shared the good news I, of course, focused on the word love. It’s fitting since Valentine’s day is right around the corner. (Hint-hint, guys it’s tomorrow and yes, you’re welcome for the reminder.) The encouraging thing is that God doesn’t need a special day out of the year to profess His love for us, and He certainly doesn’t need a reminder.
Anyway, while I was down at the mission I was reminded of this incredible truth; that no matter who you are, no matter what your background, God loves you. God loves people who are struggling with homelessness just as much as those who are sitting in mansions. God loves us and none of us, myself included, deserve it.
We cannot afford to think about love without thinking about God. We are foolish if we talk about love without talking about the cross. And we cannot understand love without understanding what Jesus did for us.
So, I hope that this little blog of mine impacts the way that you think about love. I hope that we can even rethink the ways in which we use the word. It’s not just a word that we should use flippantly, nor is it something that we should take for granted. Love is a gift from God. Love is what Jesus did on the cross. God is love.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Also, to be clear, I love my wife waaaaaay more than I “love” donuts. 😉