What is Love?
by Dr. Brad Black
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What is Love?
Since Valentineís Day is supposed to be all about love, I though it would be nice to see how God defines love. Let us look at 1 Corinthians 13.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (King James Version)
4Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
First, charity is another word for love, so you can substitute love in every place it says charity. Therefore, love is long-suffering and kind. God shows us this in the dessert with the Hebrews and Moses. If you read the story of Moses, the Hebrews were constantly giving Moses a hard time. They wanted water, food, and then they did not like the food and wanted something else. The complained about God, they complained about Moses and Aaron, and they would not follow the directions God gave them. God wanted to destroy the people more than once, but relented and helped them by giving them water out of the rock twice. He gave them Manna and then gave them quail when they were tired of the Manna. This is our model for long-suffering, not only how God dealt with the Hebrews, but how he deals with you and me. Do we not make the same complaints that the Hebrews made in the dessert? Human nature has not changed; we are just like them.
Love does not envy. Love is not vain or puffed up. In other words, we are to be humble and not covet, as we are told in the Ten Commandments. We are to follow the example of Jesus in this; it says this beautifully in Philippians 2:5-8
Philippians 2:5-8 (King James Version)
5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Jesus, being equal to God, did not try to make Himself greater then God as Satan did, but humbled Himself, became a man, was obedient to God and died on the cross. This is how we are to act to our loved ones, and more importantly, God. Compared to what Jesus has done for us, nothing we can do can compare.
Love does not behave badly, or seek its own way; it is not easily provoked to anger, and thinks no evil toward others. To the married couples out there just reading this, does it give you a poke in the conscience? I can remember behaving badly toward my wife and seeking my own way. I remember getting angry too quickly because of a bad day or being tired. As I pointed out earlier, when God dealt with the Hebrew people, He did not kill them when they were being very disrespectful and ungrateful to Him. God also gives us the free will to follow Him or not. He could make us follow Him, but he does not. This is how we must learn to act as Christians. I know it is hard but we must keep trying.
Love does not rejoice in evil but in truth. As I have said before, Jesus says He is truth.
John 14:6 (King James Version)
6Jesus smith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
We are to rejoice in Jesus. I am going to be controversial; I believe the Bible tells us if we do not believe in Jesus that we do not know what true love is all about. The Bible tells us that God is Love.
1 John 4:7-8 (King James Version)
7Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1 John 4:16
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
I will let you read the verse yourself, but I believe it is clear that to understand what love is, you must have God in you. You must be a Christian to fully understand and I believe this is why the world does not understand us Christians, because they do not understand love.
Because we have Love, we can bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things. Without God in us, we cannot do anything, it is only with the power of the Holy Sprit from God that we are able to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things. He must be the source for our strength. As seen in the Psalms:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble
In addition, in:
Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.
I know that I have been long winded again, this holiday has Christian roots (Please see last years blog) and in this present time with sex gone rampant, I thought that I must try to show you what true love is. God is the only perfect love there is, but we are to imitators of Christ, so maybe we can learn to imitate some of Christís love. Have a wonderful Valentines Day.
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