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The concept of love is one of the most talked about concepts in the Bible. The chapters from Genesis to Revelation, many believers would argue, are all about love. All throughout the Bible we see men loving women, God loving mankind, Christ sacrificing himself out of love, forbidden love affairs, and more.
“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” – Romans 12:17-18
Words Worth Knowing
- aheb (Strong’s #157) – friend, love, to love, loved (Hebrew – Old Testament)
- agapao (Strong’s #25) – I love, wish well to, take pleasure in, long for; denotes the love of reason, esteem (Greek – New Testament)
In one of his personal conversations with his disciples, Christ revealed what the greatest love of all is… to sacrifice ourselves in order to save our friends. This was not only his declaration of friendship to his disciples, but also prophetic in that he knew he would ultimately have to lay down his life in order to save the world from the penalty of sin.
“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” – John 15:12-15
The most famous chapter about love was written by Paul and is found in 1 Corinthians 13. Paul’s breakdown is one of the most poetically beautiful explanations of love that has even been written. It is also the measure of love that believers should use in our personal lives, whether or relationships are romantic, family, or friends. Paul’s words help us figure out if we’re treating people with love and if we’re being treated with love. Love is not abusive, rude, mean, or controlling. Love is the opposite of all of those things, and as believers we should desire true love based on actions and not empty words.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
In the gospel of John, we find Christ’s teachings on love, but in 1 John, we find an example directly related to our love for God. Scripture is clear that we cannot hate our brother and say we love God, or that makes us liars. In John’s time, the world was a patriarchal society, and in context the verse likely refers to just more than male siblings. We could correctly apply this teaching to loving our mother, father, aunt, uncle, sisters, cousins, etc.
On a spiritual level, the verse could rightly be applied to our brothers and sisters in Christ. This presents a problem for many people that claim to love God, but are inwardly racist or sexist. If we make excuses to hate people based on things genetically out of their control, then we are not exhibiting the type of love that the Bible demands of believers. There is a difference between hating someone based on race or gender, and not dealing with people based on their specific actions.
“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
Many people often confuse strongly liking someone with love. The first 90 days of a relationship are known as “the honeymoon effect” because it’s almost always perfect. When the 90 days are up, many couples fall into a routine or may even end the relationship. Those that are starting new relationships should wait beyond this 90 day period before making major decisions such as engagement, marriage, living together, or even having children.
Love can be easy and it can be complicated. It can be something as simple as sharing our food or something as life changing as sacrificing ourselves to save someone else. Finding love can be the best feeling in the world, while losing it can be the worst. No matter how view experience love, it is one of God’s greatest creations. It’s a non tangible emotion that has the power to make the world better.
Questions For Group Study
- How do you define love in your personal life?
- Is it possible to love more than one person at a time in a romantic relationship?
- Is it possible to love more than one person at a time in a non romantic relationship?
- Is truly love mentally, physically, emotionally, or verbally abusive toward the other person in the relationship?
- How can we tell the difference between actual love vs. someone just saying, “I love you?”
Next Mini Study Monday: Miracles (click here to become an All Access Patron so you don’t miss out)
The Awakening Library
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