The Meaning of Love
“I wanna know what love is… And I want you to show me; I wanna feel what love is … I know you can show me.” Does anybody remember this song, released by the British-American Rock Band “Foreigner” in 1984? The singer was asking this question of his lady love, I presume, but I suspect that if she really, really knew the answer and shared it with him, he would no longer be interested.
‘I love you with all my heart,” says the love-struck schoolgirl to the boy of her dreams. Does she really?
“You don’t know the meaning of …Love …”. This one by Toni Braxton is getting closer to the truth, but she still doesn’t have it all together either.
Even when I say, “Lord, I love you”, am I really speaking the truth? I want to think I am, but John 14:15 tells me that if I love Him I should keep His commandments*. Am I doing that? Many of us, even as Christians, get it wrong. We preach at others, but forget that we should be the salt and light in this world. We say we love, but we forget that loving is not just words; it’s what we do, how we treat others.
We use the “love” word so loosely that it has lost its meaning, especially among those who never really understood what it meant in the first place. We even speak of loving the inanimate with as much fervor as we speak of loving others. I have a feeling we wouldn’t be so quick to throw that word around if we truly understood it as the below scripture defines it.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7New International Version (NIV) defines love in this way: 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I know that my God really knows the meaning of love because John 3:16 says that, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, will not perish but have everlasting life.” That is love! Why? God loves us unconditionally. We don’t have to do anything to earn His love. In fact, we cannot do anything to earn it. He chooses to love us.
Please do not miss that the verse says it’s because He loves us that He gave up His Son. It’s not after Jesus washed us in His cleansing blood that God decided that He could now love us. No, He loved us in our sinful state. And He loved us enough to send His sinless Son to die so that we might have life. Jesus died in our place. The condition only comes into play after God did what He did. That is, God released His only begotten Son to come down to mankind who only had hate and malice in his heart toward God. God, having made that move, has now left it up to man to decide if he wants to accept God’s sacrificial love.
God did what He needed to do to save us from eternal damnation. The onus is now on us to accept that gift which He so freely, selflessly, and generously gave. In other words, our eternal salvation is conditional on our accepting Jesus Christ as our personal savior.
What say you? Are you ready to begin the process of learning what love truly means? Accept God’s offer of eternal life through His Son. Let Jesus shine the light of love in your heart. If you’re not sure how to do this, and you’re interested, please say the following prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for the abundant love that You have for me. I know that I am a sinner. Please forgive me of my sins. I now confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and I believe in my heart that He came to earth, died in my place, and You raised Him from the dead. I now accept Jesus as my personal savior and Lord of my life. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
If you said that simple prayer in all sincerity, you are now saved. Congratulations! The Holy Spirit of God now resides in your heart and will guide you into all truths. In order to grow spiritually, I suggest you follow these next steps:
i) Read your Bible everyday (Why? Read 2 Timothy 2:15)
ii) Pray regularly (Why? Read Matthew 26:41)
iii) Find a Bible-believing Church where you can grow as a Christian and begin to witness to others about what God is doing in your life. (Why? Read Hebrews 10:25)
*See Exodus 20: 1-17 for The Ten Commandments
See also Matthew 22:37-40