Faith, Hope and Love

What is Love?

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 NIV

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:34-35 NIV

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Or through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23 NIV

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV

Do everything in love.

1 Corinthians 16:14 NIV

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Colossians 3:14 NIV

We love because he first loved us.

1 John 4:19 NIV

On the first day of this plan, we defined love as affection for a person or object. 

Everyone loves Mrs. Smith. 

Give them my love.

Basketball was his first love.
 

There are a variety of definitions we could attribute to the word love and most would be appropriate. However, when we examine the word love from God’s viewpoint, we get a different picture of what love really is. It’s actually the foundation of our faith in Jesus, because God loved the entire world enough to send His Son to pay the penalty for all of our sins. 

It’s hard to grasp God’s generosity in giving His Son for us, but the Bible speaks about His love so powerfully. Because of Him, we have the ability to love (1 John 1:9). Jesus calls us to love and says that people will know we follow Him by our love (John 13:34-35). The Apostle Paul tells us that love is patient and kind, that it’s not selfish, proud, dishonoring, or rude (1 Corinthians 13:4-8), and that love binds over everything in perfect unity (Colossians 3:14).

How do we live it out? 

The call to love others came straight from Jesus, and love is best demonstrated in our relationships. It’s not a do whatever feels right in the moment kind of love. Love is action. Truly loving others will be uncomfortable at times, because it goes against our selfish, human nature. But love seeks to build bridges, chooses to honor others, and shows respect for all people regardless of differing viewpoints. We most beautifully represent Jesus when we love people, for it’s in these selfless acts that the world will see a Savior who’s worth following. 

What do I do when my love is low?

Sometimes it feels great to love others deeply and at other times, we simply make the choice to act in love even if we don’t feel like it. At times we want to hurt someone with our words or actions because our love tank is running on empty, but know that stepping back from a toxic situation will bring better results. Ultimately, when we feel depleted in the love category, let’s remind ourselves of all God has done for us and walk with a grateful heart. Choosing to love will actually increase our love and will lead us to love others well. 

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