What Love Really Is

February 14, 2013 | Tags: , ,

Cross of Christ

Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. -John 13:1 NLT

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. -1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT

While Valentine’s Day may be labeled by some as a “Hallmark holiday,” I choose to see as a day to reflect on what love really is. “God is love” (1 John 4:8). When I think of love, I think of Jesus. He is the perfect expression of love–unconditional love. It is easy to love someone who treats you well and respects you. But what about loving someone who treats you poorly, abuses you, makes fun of you, or belittles you as a person? Can you love someone like that?

You know what? Jesus did exactly that for all of us. Before coming to know Christ, you and I had no love in our hearts for God. We rebelled against Him, called Him names, belittled His sovereign existence, and chose to disregard what He said to us. We wanted things our own way, not His way. We picked and chose what we wanted to believe from the Bible instead of taking the entirety of God’s Word as truth. We forsook His great love and plan for our lives.

“But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8). God went after us anyway and didn’t give up on you and me. Despite how we treated Jesus, He still loved us. And now, as followers of Christ, we are to love others the same way. Through the ugliness of life. Through the painful interactions. Through the hurt and the humiliation. With the love of Christ in our hearts, we can love a lost world the same way. And this is exactly what we are called to do.

On this Valentine’s Day, will you pray with me that God helps us extend love to someone in the same way Jesus extended love to us? Maybe that co-worker who is rude. Maybe that teacher who is overly critical. Maybe that family member or spouse who takes you for granted. This Valentine’s Day, put yourself in a place with God to understand what true love is–sacrificing yourself for someone who has done nothing to deserve it.

By Courtney Silberman

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