Who do you love? What do you love?
When we started this year-long study of Building Up Love, we noted that the Greeks had many different words for our single word of love. Each Greek word represented a different type of love, with only one referring to the completely selfless and unconditional love given by God. Today, the word love has over a dozen different dictionary definitions!! The word love can be thrown around so causally that we can lose the deepest and most sincere meaning of the word “love.”
Most dictionary definitions of love refer to a worldly idea of love. Only one refers to “the benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God.*” This is the love we have been studying.
Throughout this past year, we have learned that love is an action. It is not a passive emotion, but one that requires action. Love also requires work. At times, love is easy, but too often in this sinful world in which we live, love requires us to work to express our love and to feel love from others. Love is not always easy. It can be hard and challenging. Love can force us to examine ourselves, our thoughts, and our actions. Through that examination, we then recognizes changes we need to make in ourselves to better love others. Love is a commitment!
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, NIV)
Love, as described the Apostle Paul, is a perfect love. It is the love God has for all mankind. This deepest love is why He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16). It is the love we should aspire to have for the Lord God and for all in our life.
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:7-12, NIV)
God is inseparable from love. Love is inseparable from God. To know God is to know love. To love is to know God. During these final weeks of 2021, as you spend special time with your friends and family, think about love, and how it is inseparable from God. Reflect on the loves in your life. Enjoy the loves in your life! See God in the love of others. Feel God in the love you share. Who do you love? Do they know it?
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