Years ago there was a very popular song by Tina Turner entitled, ” What`s love got to do with it?”
One line in the song is this; ” what`s love but a second-hand emotion?” In reality, that is a gross misrepresentation of the word love and yet many people may feel the same way. We may think that love comes and goes like the wind and we have no control because love is just some fleeting feeling or passion.
What is love? Perhaps it is easier to define if we first eliminate what love is not. Love is not a feeling or an emotion even though it may be the effects of love. Love is not something that pleases our flesh or selfish lusts. Of course, there is a worldly, self-serving and selfish love that exists. But that is not the kind of love that God has given to us or that He has commanded Christians to live by.
We can love money, power, or ourselves if we so choose. However, the results of this worldly love are evident everywhere we look in our world and culture today. “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” The love of self ignores our command to love others as we should and seeks our interests above all others which is in direct disobedience to the word of God which commands us to esteem others better than ourselves, and look out for the interests of others and not just our own.
How can we as Christians be known by our love when we have so foolishly patterned our love after the world? We think love means we cannot stand up for truth for fear of offending someone or risk being labeled as intolerant or as an extremist. Wicked and perverse ideologies devoid of truth and reason have dominated not only the lost, but believers. This has allowed for distorted and harmful views of what love is. To love as God loves, we must also hate what God hates. So, just as we can love in the wrong way, we can also love the wrong things.
15“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one`s possessions is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever. “
1 John 2:15-17
(Christian Standard Bible)
The bible has much to say about love because after all, God is love.
There is a very descriptive passage of scripture that describes love for us so that we can know for certain what real love is.
1 Corinthians 13 is known as the love chapter and rightly so. It is both beautiful and convicting to the reader as God describes real love.
1” If I speak human or angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give away all my possessions, and if I give over my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, 5 is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. 6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. “
1 Corinthians 13:1-8
(Christian Standard Bible)
Another passage in scripture that helps us to understand love is found in 1 John chapters four and five.
7“Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9 God`s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another God remains in us, and his love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us: He has given us of His Spirit.
14 And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as the world`s Savior. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God-God remains in him and he in God. 16 And we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.
17 In this, love is made complete with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because as he is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
21 And we have this command from him: The one who loves God must also love his brother and sister.”
1” Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of him. 2 This is how we know that we love God`s children; when we love God and we obey his commands.
3 For this is what love for God is; to keep his commands. And his commands are not a burden, 4 because everyone who has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. “
1 John 4:7-21, 5:1-4
(Christian Standard Bible)
The good news is that God`s love is not some fleeting feeling or emotion that is here today and gone tomorrow. No, God`s love is true and sure and everlasting.
35 ” Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or distress or persecution or famine or danger or sword?
36 As it is written: Because of you we are being put to death all day long; We are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8: 35-39
More verses from scripture about love
“…But love your neighbor as yourself…”
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
4“For the word of the Lord is right, and all his work is trustworthy. 5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the Lord`s unfailing love.”
1 “I love the Lord because he has heard my appeal for mercy. 2 Because he has turned his ear to me, I will call out to him as long as I live. “
Psalms 116: 1,2
“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.”
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a difficult time.”
…”hate evil and love good…”
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. “
“No one can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
“For God loved the world in this way; He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
(Christian Standard Bible)
Languages Without Love – 1 Corinthians 13:1 1862 Oct 17, 1976 – John MacArthur – GRACE TO YOU
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