Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
True Love is Scarce
People crave love in this world - being loved, falling in love, and making love. If there’s one virtue people proudly think they possess, it is love. Tragically, love is the scarcest virtue in the entire world. That’s because most people live by the world’s definition of love, not by the Bible’s. The world’s love is conditional, self-seeking, and unforgiving. The world’s love centers on emotional highs, personal desires, and self-pleasure, the opposite of God’s sacrificial love. It is selfish, shallow, sensual, sexual, and thankless. The world’s love is not true love but Satan’s cheap imitation and perversion of it.
On the contrary, God’s love is unconditional, self-sacrificing, forgiving, and thankful. So, if God is truly our Father, we will learn to love like our Father by the Holy Spirit He's given us through faith in Christ. True love is evidence that we are children of God; that we truly believe in Jesus. When we love through faith in Christ, we don’t have to worry about lying, stealing, cheating, coveting, envying, demanding respect, seeking revenge, or placing ourselves above God or anyone else. Love does no harm to a neighbor and loves the Lord with all its heart, mind, and soul. Love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 3:8-10).
Wordly Love Vs. Scriptural Love
The world says love is blind. Scripture says love abounds in real knowledge and all discernment (Phil 1:9). The world says love doesn’t discriminate. Scripture says love carefully examines everything to distinguish between good and evil, truth and falsehood (1 Thess 5:21-22). The world says there is no hate in love. Scripture says love is sincere in that it hates evil and only holds fast to what is good (Rom 12:9). The world says love the things of the world: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life (See 1 John 2:15-17). Scripture says do not love the world or those things that come from the world (1 John 2:15-16). Love for the world is enmity with God (James 4:4). The world says that you know you love someone by how they make you feel. Scripture says love is not mere emotion or empty sentimentalism but is secured in the Truth and governed by it. The world says love is a feeling that can’t be explained. Scripture says love is not an abstraction but an action that can be proven (1 Corinth 13:4-7). The world says love yourself. Scripture says love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength (Mark 12:30, Mat 22:37, Luke 10:27). Scripture says love is not self-seeking but is selfless (1 Corinth 13:5, Phil 2:3-4). The world says to love those who love you. Scripture says to love everyone. Love your neighbor as yourself (Mat 22:39, Mark 12:31) and love your enemies (Matt 5:43-48).
Scripture says “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:32-36). Scripture says love is full of mercy, kindness, and forgiveness.
Evidence in Our Actions
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18). We know that actions speak louder than words. Anyone can talk the talk but not everyone can walk the walk. The world says that it’s the thought that counts. At times that can be true. But Scripture says that when it comes to proving your love, it's the thought that turns into action that truly counts. Like everything else, when it comes to love, actions speak louder than thoughts or words. (See James 2:14-24. This same principle applies to genuine faith too). That's where the objective evidence of our love and faith lies. It is not in what we say but in what we do that proves we are the children of God. And there is no argument under the sun that can stand up against that clear and basic truth. Even people who don't believe in God would agree with that universal truth; that actions speak louder than words.
And when we look at God’s love, it’s the cross that speaks the loudest and clearest of them all. Jesus’ death on the cross is the supreme demonstration of God’s love for us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8). God could’ve never revealed Himself more fully in any other way than by giving His one and only Son to die on the cross for the sins of the world, for His enemies. God is love and He showed us His love by giving us His Son Jesus, so that in Him we may have life (John 3:16, 15:13). There is no greater love.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You are love. I love because You first loved me (1 John 4:19). I could’ve never loved You without first being loved by You. It was in Your love that You chose me before the foundation of the world to save me from my sins. It was in Your love that You set me apart for Your purposes and for the praise of Your glorious grace (Eph 1:6, 1:12). I praise You for giving me a new heart by grace through faith in Jesus, transforming my life in Christ, and giving me the ultimate gift of eternal life in Him. Lord, I have no struggle in loving myself. But I struggle to love You with all my heart and soul. I struggle to love others as myself. Lord, I can't increase my love, but You will if I ask You. Lord, make me more loving, by Your grace. Please, Lord. I want to love like Jesus. I want to be like Him. Help me to grow in patience, gentleness, humility, and love like my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
All glory belongs to Him! In His Name, I pray amen.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love. 2 John 1:6
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:2-3