A very cliché topic for a Christian blog but stay with me…you might learn a thing or two.
The concept of love is one that is all too familiar within the Christian family. The entire foundation of Christianity is built on love so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we keep hearing about it. Matter of fact, while preparing for this post I searched the word “love” on the blog page and discovered that virtually every post on the blog links to love. God is love, so, if we must worship Him, we must love, and to love, we must know God and understand the fundamentals of our concern of love.
Love is received that it may be given.
We have in one way or the other all experienced love in times past, whether it be from parents, siblings, friends, or a partner and if not, we are currently living in God’s love for us. God gives us His love daily and the proof is that He sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins (1 John 4:9). However, it is one thing to be given a thing and another to accept it. God loves us daily, but it is up to us to accept this love. Accepting God’s love is opening your heart to trust Him and believe that He always has your best interest at heart…it is accepting His sacrifice for you. Accepting God’s love is accepting Jesus as your Lord. Nevertheless, it is possible for a person to accept Jesus as their Lord and still be rejecting God’s love. How? Guilt and shame restrain us from coming to accept the finished works of Christ which is why the Scripture does not approve the two (Romans 8:1). To give love, you must have first received and accepted it…which is why God has shown us His love that we may give to others.
Love is giving.
To give…this is the real deal. This is in fact what love is about and the proof is in John 3:16, Scripture tells us God loved, so, God gave. Loving starts from giving…that’s why on days where love is celebrated: Valentine’s Day and Christmas Day, we give gifts. And because love is directly and strongly related to giving, we understand that love is an action word…it is not all talk but action too.
Loving ourselves and others.
In giving love, there are three people we must give to: ourselves, others, and God. The order is such because without loving yourself, it is quite impossible to love others and if you do not love others, you cannot say you love God. In Ephesians 5:25-30, Paul speaks to husbands on loving their wives and he likens it to both Christ’s love for the church and their own love for their bodies. Also, Mark 12:31 tells us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, if I do not love myself, then I cannot love others right.
N.B: To love yourself is not to love at the detriment of others…that’s selfishness. Loving yourself is to love that you may reciprocate to others. Mark 12:31 and 2 Timothy 3:1-2 are speaking of two different types of self-love. The former speaks of the natural self-love…the one that pushes us to look for the best for ourselves (the type we are expected to show others) while the latter speaks of a haughty, selfish love that leads to sin.
Likewise, loving God first involves loving others. “If a man says, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” 1 John 4:20 KJV. It is imperative that believers learn to love those around them and by extension everyone because, without that, our claim to love God would be baseless.
“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”~Romans 13:8
Furthermore, to love God is to do His will. We cannot claim to love Him and yet do the opposite of what pleases Him. We cannot love Him on our own terms.God’s love language is first obedience before any other thing; including service and sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15. As earlier mentioned, love is an action word…proven by deeds more than words alone. We show our love to and for God when we do His will.
“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.”~1 John 4:7-8