blog: What Is Love? Do You Really Know?
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What is love, was the most searched Google phrase in 2012. Undeniably, love is our number one interest in more ways than a Google search. We are creatures that love to love and love to be loved. To understand love, we must go to the creator and source of love. We are told that love comes from God and God is love:
Dear friends, 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 (1 John 4:7-8).
It is absolutely absurd to assume that God does not know all there is to know about love because He is Love. God created every aspect of love by design and embedded it in our DNA. He alone is the real authority on love. To suppose that we can somehow fully know and understand love apart from God violates the rational mind; but isn’t that exactly what many people are trying to do today? We are guilty of trying to find love, understand love, experience love, enjoy love, and share love apart from the creator of love—God.
All there is to know and experience about love is found in God. Now I’m not talking about spiritual or divine love exclusively, but every kind of love that exists. That passionate sexual love (Gr. eros or erotas love) you feel when you hold your date close to you, God created you to feel like that and then said, control yourself, that’s for after the marriage. And then there is that head over heels (infatuation love) love that has all the romantic appeal that most woman long for and many men don’t understand. You see, God gives us the ability to feel “parental and maternal” love for our children, “brotherly love” for our neighbors and friends, “romantic love” for our spouse, “unconditional love” that flows from the power of love itself and “love for our enemies,” the one that no one wants to hear about.
Is it safe to assume we are capable of fully understanding love’s complexities and depths without first actively knowing love’s author and experiencing His love in the fullness that is only possible through intimacy with God? If love flows from God and God is love, it is reasonable to believe we must embrace God and be connected to Him in order to fully appreciate Love.
Love apart from the creator is at its worst an enigma and at its best dysfunctional. There is a lot in this world that is called love and masquerades as love, but when you meet Love, the true love of God, and experience the power of His everlasting love you will forever be transformed by His love. I submit to you that it is absolutely impossible to fully comprehend love outside of actively knowing and experiencing God’s love.
God is love and His love is the most powerful force I have ever known. His love compels, motivates, constrains, forgives, strengthens, comforts, supports, provides, imparts compassion and builds us up in a supernatural sense. His love is perfect in every way and it completes us.
Your soul mate should not be your spouse, he/she is your life mate. Only God can be your soul mate. He is the true lover of your soul and demonstrated this love beyond the realm of human comprehension and imagination. God brought love to its highest level when He took upon Himself the form of man and became the incarnated Son of man to die not for His friends, but for His enemies. Consider this:
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Romans 5:6,8,10,)
Most of us are willing to occasionally accept that we are “sinners” when defined inside the context of “we are all sinners.” And perhaps more rarely we may even confess we are “ungodly.” But I cannot remember anyone referring to themselves as God’s “enemy.” But we must face the fact that this is precisely what we were before Christ died in our place. To deny this fact is tantamount to calling God a liar. Perhaps this will help clarify my point.
The righteousness of God’s love is so powerful that He could not ignore the fact that we were sinners, ungodly and enemies. So, God righteously judged us as enemies and condemned us to death. Then in the power of His incomprehensible love, He became one of us taking on our form, a human. He became God in the flesh here on earth with one purpose in mind, rescue His enemies.
It is clear that we were and some still are God’s enemies, but God is not our enemy. He loves us and died to prove His love for us. He opened the road home for all who turn to Him. The necessary requirements of reconciliation (restoration of our relationship to the Father) was accomplished in Christ while we were still His enemies. True love for His enemies and the hope of restoring mankind in a right relationship with God motivated Jesus to endure the horrible suffering of the cross. His eyes were on the prize—restoring His enemies. Consider these words:
…For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame… (Heb. 12:2)
Joy, what joy, you ask? The joy of seeing each of His enemies (one-by-one) realize how much He loves them and how He longs to restore them to the power of His amazing love. The 3rd. verse of this old hymn captures a glimpse of His great love:
Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade, To write the love of God above, Would drain the ocean dry. Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky. (Frederick Lehman)
Early on in life, I began to investigate the claims people were making about God’s love and how Christ loved me so much that He died in my place on the cross, taking upon Himself my punishment. Eventually, the knowledge of all this brought me to the place where I could no longer ignore His Love and I fell to my knees and into His love as so many had in the past. This was not some religious experience, but the beginning of a relationship with the lover of my soul. The one who created me, loved me, died for me, forgave me, and then invited me to come to Him and receive His mercy, grace, love, and forgiveness. All the while He offered His love to me I remained His enemy, but the object of His love.
Meeting the author and authority of love opened my understanding to love in ways that I could never have imagined. It’s one thing to know and learn all about love, but it is an entirely different thing to experience love Himself. For “God is Love.” The power of God’s love transcends the natural mind and imparts a love that “never fails.”
God’s love transforms and renews our lives. I can remember men and women sharing in open meetings how after 10 and 20 years of marriage they had finally turned to God and discovered God’s love and how for the first time in their lives they knew how to properly love their spouse, children, family, and friends. I remember one man sharing with tears streaming down his face how much the love of God had taught him to be a godly husband and how to love his wife and children. For over 40 years I have witnessed what true love is and what happens when ordinary people encounter true love in God.
What is so amazing to me is the life I now live was made possible by God’s great love! Were it not for Jesus I would not know of God’s great love. Were it not for Jesus I would not know what caring was. Were it not for Jesus I would not have such peace within and my life would not mean anything were it not for Jesus!
Suggested Reading: 5 Facts That Will Change Your Life
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