What Is Love?

Hello friends,
We received some snow this weekend. It wasn’t much, but it looks nice compared to the dry, brown landscape we’ve had for most of the winter. I have to say I’m ready for spring, not because our winter has been particularly bad, I’m just ready for green grass and flowers.

Valentine’s Day is this week, and it’s all about LOVE. Here at our church we observe the occasion with a catered meal and entertainment, usually on the Sunday evening nearest to February 14. It’s not exclusively for couples, singles are welcome. Our motive is just to get people out for an evening of fellowship.

I thought I’d share a bit this week on the topic of love from a Biblical perspective. The Bible from beginning to end has much to say about love. Love, as promoted by the world, is romantic love, and I see nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, I believe love as God defines it, goes far beyond romance. It is a deeper and more committed love. Let me give some examples from scripture.

A familiar passage would be John 3:16. “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 expands on this statement in his first letter: “Dear friend, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4: 7-10).

The apostle Paul, teaching on the sacrifice of Christ for payment of sin, writes: “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 5:7-8).

This sacrificial love is what Paul had in mind as he wrote to husbands and wives in Ephesians, chapter 4. 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, commonly called the “Love Chapter”, describes this deep, self-sacrificing love in detail. Your assignment this week will be to look up these passages and meditate on them.

Happy Valentine’s Day,
Pastor Jerry

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