When we think of the word “love,” we usually get a warm feeling inside. We think of love in a positive way, as love is portrayed – in most cases – as something good. Marriage is based on love. Parenting is based on love. Missions and outreach is based on love – or at least it should be.
Unfortunately love in our culture has become a broad description of many things. We “love” Italian food. We “love” our new sports car. We “love” our jobs. According to the Word of God, however, this form of love is not true love. This is a pleasant feeling or “like” toward something. This “like” ends when the newness or emotion of it fades over time.
True love is not based on emotions. It is based on a choice to put others before ourselves, regardless of how we feel. It’s deeper, more valuable, and more lasting than what any definition of love could be.
What Is Love?
While the world may define love as warm, fuzzy feelings toward another human being, or perhaps even their pet, the Word’s definition is not “what” but “Who.” God is love.
(1John 4:8 KJV) He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
(1John 4:16 KJV) And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Where Is Love?
God not only is love but He has placed that love in our hearts the moment we were saved. We don’t need to strive to walk in love; it is right there in us if we’ll just let it guide us!
(Romans 5:5 KJV) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
(Galatians 5:22 KJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.
What Love Does
Just like “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20), so faith without action is not love. It must be proven through good deeds for others to see.
(1John 3:18 KJV) My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
(1John 3:17 KJV) But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
(2 Corinthians 8:8 KJV) I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
(2 Corinthians 8:24 KJV) Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.
God proved it:
- He sent Jesus.
(1John 4:9 KJV) In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
(1John 4:10 KJV) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
- He corrects us.
(Revelations 3:19 KJV) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
(Proverbs 3:12) For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
We prove it:
- We keep His commandments.
(1John 5:2 KJV) By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
(John 14:21 KJV) He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
- We keep the peace.
(Proverbs 17:9 KJV) He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
(Proverbs 10:12 KJV) Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
(Ephesians 4:2 KJV) With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love . . .
- We live selflessly.
(1Corinthians 13:4-7) Charity [love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
(2 Corinthians 12:15 KJV) And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
(Ephesians 5:2 KJV) And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.
(1John 3:16 KJV) Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
(Romans 12:10 KJV) Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another . . .
- We work to serve.
(1Thessalonians 1:3 KJV) Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
(1Thessalonians 5:13 KJV) And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
(Hebrews 6:10 KJV) For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
(Galatians 5:13 KJV) For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
- We encourage good works.
(Hebrews 10:24 KJV) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works . . .
- We never stop loving.
(Hebrews 13:1 KJV) Let brotherly love continue.
(1Corinthians 13:8) Charity [love] never faileth . . .
- We speak the truth.
(Ephesians 4:15 KJV) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ . . .
- We fulfill the law.
(Romans 13:8 KJV) Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
- We build up (edify).
(Ephesians 4:16 KJV) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
When it comes to romance, it’s important to know and believe of the Love of God first. You will then be able to spot a counterfeit relationship miles away . . . and you will be able to identify the genuine because you have already seen the legit! Go for the genuine love that God has for you! It’s His highest and best!