There was a countless number of cards, gifts, flowers, chocolates, and other treats exchanged this past week, all in the name of love. By the world’s standards, love is usually associated with feelings and emotions. When the word love is used in the Bible, the vast majority of them are in the context of action.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son" (John 3:16).
"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom 5:8)
"No one has greater love than the one who gives his life for his friends" (John 15:13)
We are commanded in the bible to love.This is the most frequently given command in Scripture and defines the essence of Christianity. Paul describes the characteristics of love in 1 Corinthians 13 (patient, kind, consistent, enduring, etc.) but the knowledge and acceptance of agape love is needed in order to fulfill God’s command to love. This kind of love is demonstrated by intentionally doing something (action) that is caring or helpful towards someone, in Jesus’ name, regardless of the cost or consequence, and without intent to receive something in return.
I say intentionally because it doesn’t happen by accident. It needs to be planned and thought out. 1 Corinthians tells us to “Pursue love”.
Doing something reiterates the fact that love is action. If it’s not seen, observed, or experienced on a regular basis, it could be perceived as not being genuine. “Little children, let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18.
Caring is "a feeling of concern and protection.” The ultimate caring for someone is giving your own life to protect the person you love. “By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” 1 John 3:16.
Helpful in Greek means to “lend strength to.” Where a need exists, love should respond. Love should build up another person.
Towards someone. Love should always be focused on a person. It doesn’t exist in a vacuum. We can’t sit alone or isolate ourselves from others and love.
In Jesus’ name. We show this act of love in the spirit of Jesus. We do it because He is the one who motivates and commands us to love. “…just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” John 13:34.
Regardless of the cost or consequence. True love doesn’t say, “I love you as long as it doesn’t cost anything, if it's convenient, or if I don’t hurt myself in the process.” Often times demonstrating love towards someone comes at a huge cost. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2.
As we live our lives more and more for Christ, let us learn how to love like Christ and let it become a habit for us. Something we desire to do, because we love Him and not just because we are commanded to do it.
I love you all,