1 John 4:8, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
It's that time of year where love is all around us. February, a hallmark holiday to tell our loved ones how much we love them. Everywhere one turns love is being commercialized and so many are drawn to buying chocolates, flowers, cards, and stuffed animals to give to their loved ones.
Love is a word that has taken on a lot of meanings over time. From writers, movie directors, and artists we have seen love portrayed many different ways. Love has become an endless expression of emotions, passion, and affection. We express love through our actions, we feel love for things: babies, chocolate, warm summer days, a day on the beach, sunsets, sunrises, and more. Love is portrayed as wonderful or disastrous, passionate, or indifferent. Even scripture gives us a map of what love is, 1 Corinthians 13. No matter where we turn love is talked about in some way or another which leads me to believe love is important and we all are affected by it.
Above all we can learn what love is when we open the Bible. We are told very clearly that God is love. We also know that God values love as the Bible uses it over 700 times, all showing that love is described in the way we talk, act, or just our mindset towards others. The Bible tells us we love because God first loved us- 1 John 4:19. If we want to truly define love, we simply need to look at God's how-to guide.
God's love is perfect and never changes or ends. God never stops loving and nothing can separate us from His love.
The word for love in Hebrew is ‘khesed’, meaning ‘loving kindness, everlasting love, faithful love, loyalty, mercy, goodness’. This is who God is, this is what it means to say God is love. God is loyal and always keeps His promises.
Let's go one step further. Love is not simply an emotion to feel. Love is a choice. God chose to love us. Not because of anything we have done for we are by no means worthy of His love. Yet, despite our failures, God chooses to love us. One of God's greatest acts of love was sending His Son, Jesus to live among us and then die for us so we may live. Since the fall of man in Eden God has chosen to love us and be with us. This is God's character, and this is the love He asks us to show to others.
As we go into February and love fills the air let’s all take a few moments to reframe our view on love and what it truly means. Spouses, parents, siblings, children, close friends. Let's be mindful of our love toward them. Yes, they may fail us a time or two, but have we not failed God a time or two ourselves? Since the beginning of time God has chosen to love us despite our sinful nature, let's choose to love everyone in the same way.
Setting aside all the candy, flowers, cards, and worldly gifts that express love, let's choose to grow our character more like God and love like God. Treat others the way God treats us.
1 John 4:16 brings God's love into a beautiful promise for us, “And so we know the love that God has for us, and we trust that love. God is love. Those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.”
Allow God to show you love, guide you how to love, and we will all have perfected the second greatest commandment, ‘Love others as God has loved you.’
Psalm 103 paints a beautiful portrait of God's faithful love. Today, let's take some time to study the chapter and learn how God loves. God's love goes beyond being faithful. He forgives, He heals, He redeems, He has compassion, and He is love.
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