A Look At Love

3 friends making heart hands

It is a fact that one of the most important things that should exist in a Christian’s life is love. Over and over this precept is taught throughout God’s Word. It has even been noted that the Bible is a book about God’s love for us. Some of the most well known verses of Scripture reflect such. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Also, “He that loveth not knoweth not God: for God is love. In this was manifested the love o God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:8-10). What encouragement and strength we receive by reading and learning such truth. However, love should not be exclusively from God to mankind. How about the love that mankind should have for God? Also, what about the love that should exist between individual human beings?

Let us first take the love that mankind should have for God. We never need to forget the previously mentioned verses. Truly, “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Even though mankind turned away from their Creator, God still loves us. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). So, how should we demonstrate our appreciation and show God our love. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). It really is that simple. If we love God, we show that by doing what God has commanded. Jesus also said, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:10). There are many people who want God’s love, but how many of them are willing to show God that they love Him by keeping his commandments? I realize that many people claim to love God, but do they really? John wrote, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3). Mankind needs to awaken and get back to appreciating, extolling and obeying the commandments of God. If we are not willing to do that, then we need to be honest with ourselves; we do not love God enough!

Now let us move to the second type of love: love that should exist between individual human beings. Before delving too deeply, let us notice a very important point. “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also” (1 John 4:20-21). That ought to make us seriously reconsider the love that we think we have for God.

If we are honest with ourselves, do we really love each other the way that we should? Reflecting on God’s love for us, John made it clear “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 John 4:11). Also, Jesus stated, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12). As has already been established, that is a whole lot of love! If we are to be true disciples of Jesus, then we must develop a true love for one another. “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death” (1 John 3:14). Also, consider how strong that love is supposed to be by examining another Scripture. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16). How much do we really love each other? Do we love each other enough to suffer and die for one another? We are further instructed, “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:17-18). Will we spend money to show our love? Will we do without our wants to show our love? If not, then we must accept the truth that we do not love each other the way that we should.

Love for God and love for mankind, where do we stand? Let us each strive to show more love according to God’s will.
~ Corey Barnette