Monday, February 14, 2011


Valentines Day... creates a lot of buzz on the topic of love. I've been studying 1 John 4 this past week. You want to hear about love? Turn to it, but don't expect to hear about the mushy stuff. Expect to hear about the command to love. Command? To love? Yes.
In verses 7 to 21, I marked the word love/loves/loved a total of 27 times! In those verses you will find the ultimate definition of love (v9: "that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him"), you will see where love comes from (v7: "for love is from God"), you will hear that we need not have fear (v18: "perfect love casts out fear"), and you will see that we have received the commandment to love (v21: "whoever loves God must also love his brother").
The study had me cross reference a few additional verses that included similar thoughts on love. One that stood out to me was Romans 13: 8-10, specifically v10: "Love does no wrong to a neighbor ; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." Galatians 5:14 says something very similar. Think about it - if we choose to love, there is no room for hate/murder, envy, strife, adultery/sexual immorality, judgment, favoritism, etc. Choosing love means we choose peace, patience, kindness, self control, putting others first, etc. [See Galations 5:19-23]. Ultimately, when we choose love we are choosing to abide in Christ. To fulfill His commandments. Our lives display the fruit of the spirit. The book of 1 John talks a lot about how through our actions, we can either identify ourselves with Christ or with the devil. "God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him" (ch4,v16).
It's really made me evaluate how I love. Do I always choose love? No. Do I need to? Yes.
A couple of more questions for evaluation: Is my love restricted to only those that love me in return? Do I show my love in both words and actions? Do I take God's love for granted? Do I remember to praise the One who gave me the ability to love?
Happy Valentines Day, everyone. Go out and love.

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