Love

God’s Love

“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins”. -1 John 4:8-10

Let’s just get right into this study. Let’s start by going over each part of this scripture.

“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love”.

So right away we see that our God is love. We are created in God’s image  and according to His likeness (Gen. 1:26). Since our creator is love, we should aspire to live lives full of love. Since we were born in sin, and are imperfect beings, this is often difficult to say the least. But, according to this scripture, if we do not love, then we do not know God. In other words, a person who knows God, who has an intimate connection and complete reliance on God is a person who also has love in their heart and in their relationships. They make choices based on true, genuine love (we’ll talk more about what love is later), they serve out of love, they forgive out of love, and they pour love into the lives of others.

“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

The first thing I notice in this sentence is that God sent His Son so we might live through Him. This means that before God sent His son, Jesus, we were dead. This is referring to us being sinners and Jesus coming to earth, living as man, and dying for our sins (Rom.5:8). Jesus’s sacrifice was the manifestation of God’s love for us. For no reason, other than love, we were given an opportunity to have life through Jesus.


If you have accepted and confessed Jesus as your lord and savior, then you have received life through Him as a manifestation of God’s love for you. That it is beautiful. If you have not accepted Jesus as your savior, know that God gave his son so that you (with every blemish and flaw) would have the opportunity to believe in Him and have eternal life (John 3:16).


“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins”

Again, Jesus died for our sins so that we may have eternal life, because God loved us even while we were still sinners.He did not require us to love Him first because His love was enough (1 John 4:19), because God is love.

 

The Nature of Love

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”. – 1 Corin. 13-4-7

I love this piece of scripture! It really just lays it all out and provides us with a godly standard of love. This is so significant because we live in a world that tells us love is blind and love stinks. But true love sees clearly and is a  blessing. Let’s take a look at a few of the attributes.

Love is patient- patient love does not make people feel pressured. It doesn’t force others to love us back, or require people to change. It meets others  right where they are, like God loved us while we were still sinners.

Love is kind- Not only is it patient, but it is not forceful, mean (sometimes mistaken as tough love), or cruel. Love is kind.

…is not jealous-In romantic relationships we sometimes believe that we have to be jealous or our partner should be jealous because we are in love. Not true. You can trust and respect your partner without being jealous. We can sometimes become jealous because our close friends are bonding with people outside of us, our coworker got a promotion we think we deserve, or our children look up to another adult. If we love each other, seeing these things should bring us joy, not jealousy.

Love does not brag and is not arrogant- Love is mindful of the feelings of others. It doesn’t boast of blessings or abilities, while overlooking how it may make others feel. This is something that we can easily fall into with social media. It seems innocent to post about date night, transformations, or vacations. But do we ever take into consideration of how this may make others feel. Your friend or relative who is going through a tough time in their marriage may struggle with seeing your updates about how happy your love life is. Your old friend from school who hasn’t been able to pay rent and is facing eviction may be provoked to covet your ability to travel as you please.

I am not suggesting that you stop all status updates, or be private about the things that you are happy about, but love does not brag, and is not arrogant. So I do encourage you to be mindful of others when you speak. I have been guilty of this as well and try to present things without bragging or being arrogant. When you slip up, it’s as simple as repenting and making a true effort to do better, and sometimes even apologizing.

…not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things- Love is a beautiful thing. It thinks of others, forgives, values righteousness and truth, is in it for the long run and is hopeful. That is what I want my family to hear, when I say I love them. That is the love I want in my marriage. That is the love I want to extend to a friend, and even a stranger.

  • 1 Corin. 16:14 “Let all that you do be done in love”

Do you feel love in any of those ways? Do you have anyone in your life that loves you in that way? If not, God is waiting to show you that exact kind of love. You only have to ask.

Do you offer love to anyone in that way? If not, look to Jesus to show you how you can love others with true godly love.


Love for Other’s

“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law”. -Romans 13:10 
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments”. – John 14:15
 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love”. – John 15:10

 

God really wants us to love one another. This message is literally throughout the bible. Love. Love. Love. By loving our neighbors as ourselves we are fulfilling the Law (Gal 5:14).

We have talked about God being love and the nature of love. We looked at different examples of how love looks between God and us, and us and others. We understand that to love others is to love and know God and to love is to keep His commandments.

I want to take a moment to address a specific type of love. The love between a husband and wife. Even before I was married I really wanted to understand love within a marriage. The Word teaches us that the union between husband and wife is a representation of the union between Jesus and the church. So to understand one, is to understand the other.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her…So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself”.- Ephesians 5:25, 28 
“…encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored”. – Titus 2:4-5

This can be a touchy subject because no two relationships look-alike. What works for my family today may not work tomorrow, so it certainly is not expected to be the answer for the next family. But again, God uses his love and the love Christ has for the church as a standard for love. Even love within a marriage.

You know your spouses shortcomings, flaws, and weakness. You may not always see eye to eye. The list of issues or obstacles that could come up in a marriage is probably a mile long. But love your husband. I’m not saying be in love with him. My husband never told me he was in love with me until we were already married. We both believed that being in love was not a requirement for marriage. I was in love with him for sure. But being in love is a feeling. And marriages can’t last on feelings. Marriages last based on choices. The choice to honor your vows, despite a change in heart or temptation. The choice to communicate, despite hurt feelings or repeated request that have gone unacknowledged. And the choice to love, despite no longer being in love.

Up til this point we have seen love described as character traits and actions. To the world and our children, our marriages should point to God. They should see us choosing to love each other through life and see that God is love. By loving your husband with kindness and patience, you point to a God that loved us while we were drowning, nose deep, in sin. When you look at your marriage in that light, as a ministry that glorifies God, everything else becomes small.


Here are more scriptures about loving others

  • 1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins”.
  • 1 John 4:20 “If someone says ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen”.
  • John 13:34-35; 1 John 4:7, 12; John  15:12-13, 17; Rom.12:10; Col. 3:14; Matt. 5:44; Matt 22:39;  Luke 6:27, 32

The Power of Love

“But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love”. – 1 Corin. 13:13
“Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions”. – Prov. 10:12
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love”. -1 John 4:18

Finally we look at the power of love.

“But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love”. – 1 Corin. 13:13

Love is greater than faith and hope. It covers sin and fulfills the law. Love is important enough to move God to give His Son for us. Surely, faith and hope are great, but not greater than love. Remember that the next time you have the opportunity to love on someone. Think of how great love is and how you are offering them a great gift.

“Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions”. – Prov. 10:12

It’s no question as to which is greater here-hatred or love? But it is reiterated here that love covers sin. It forgives. It heals. It strengthens. When we hold on to past hurts and mistakes, we are hurting ourselves. We snuff out the love in our hearts, which allows it to become a fertile ground for hatred.


If you have trouble forgiving, try loving first. Love will cover the transgression according to Gods will and allow your heart to heal.


“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love”. -1 John 4:18

Understand that we are not perfect. We all deal with fear at some point or another. My prayer for you, and myself, would be that we rely on God’s perfect love to cast out our fear. The very first scripture we covered in 1 John 4:8-10 tells us that God gave His Son so that we may live through Him. Through our salvation in Jesus and our genuine effort to live like Him and love God (by loving others and keeping His commands), we can be perfected in love.

Lay your fears down before God. Even as I type this, something specific in my life comes to mind. And I thank God for loving me so much that I can go to Him, and His perfect love will cast out my fears.

Take Away

I have enjoyed doing this study. I can admit that it was not easy to do a post this long, but I truly feel like I have a fresh perspective on love. I plan on being intentional about how I give and show love to others and reflect on the love that God has shown me throughout my life. I pray that if you can not look into your life and see love as the word describes it, that you will begin to plant seeds of love in your life and in the lives of others. You can ask God to help you do this. His Holy Spirit will lead you and you will begin to reap love in your life, drawing you closer to God.

If this is an area that you have been growing in already and this fruit is evident in your life, then thank God for His continued love. You can also share this with someone who may find it encouraging to know that such a love exist in God.

Thank you for reading this study, don’t forget to follow-up on the scriptures. Til next time, enjoy!

 

 

 

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