“Love is in the air”, “love at first sight”, “falling in love” and “love is blind” are just a few examples of what our world says about love. Most people, if asked what true love is, would refer to an emotion, but the Bible has something different to say about the subject of love.
In love, Jesus discipled twelve men by example and word. The result? All but one of those men were willing to lay down their lives for the cause of Christ. Jesus taught, ‘Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends’ (John 15:13), and, ‘The reason the Father loves me is that I lay down my life … no one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord’ (John 10:17-18).
The apostle Paul affirms, ‘You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:6-8). True love requires action!
The magnitude of God’s gift of His Son to mankind is so great that the entire world can, has, and will be changed through it. The love and obedience from the Son to the Father is unmistakably revealed through the pages of Scripture as we follow Jesus’ journey to the cross.
In 1 Corinthians 12:4-8, we learn what love is and what it isn’t. ‘Love is … patient and kind; it protects and always trusts, hopes and perseveres and rejoices with the truth.
Love is not …. envious, boastful, proud, rude, self-seeking, easily angered and does not delight in evil’.
When God was pursuing my dad, who was then an agnostic, it was love that He used to draw his heart. I remember a conversation one morning where my dad confessed that the book he was reading, written by a well-known atheist, couldn’t explain the love in a baby’s eyes. My dad was pursuing love, not knowing that ‘Love’ was actually pursuing him.
I gave my dad a new book to read that Christmas with a note and one scripture reference. ‘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). I never knew if he opened the Bible or read the verse until a few short months after Christmas that year, during my dad’s unexpected funeral service. A godly man who had been meeting and discipling my dad for breakfast over that time period, shared these words at his service, “He always arrived for breakfast thirty minutes early with his Bible in hand and his list of questions.”
My dad found the love he was looking for and every Christmas I remember the gift that I gave to him, plainly wrapped, that held the secret to true love. One starry night, God wrapped His Son Jesus in plain cloth in a manger as a gift to the world. But thirty-three years later He had to wrap Him again, but this time in grave clothes. He was placed in a tomb where He stayed for three days until, through the power of the Holy Spirit, His loving Father raised Him to life again.
Can you take a moment today to thank God for His perfect true love which came through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ for you?
Prayer: Father, I am so grateful that you always see the bigger picture. Your word is clear Lord that you don`t want anyone to perish. There is no heart too hard nor ear too deaf for your Holy Spirit to soften or open. I praise you and worship you for your great love.....the greatest love of all! Amen.
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