Love is a word whose meaning runs the gamut from, "I love flowers, bird songs and cotton candy," to the solemn word heard in church sermons and wedding ceremonies. Because of this, the word has lost depth and a great deal of its solemn meaning. But Scripture never uses the word lightly. There is never any doubt about its meaning or its cost
When I was very young, I said to a dear friend, "I just love puppies." He replied, "You like puppies and are charmed by them, but I hope you LOVE me." That rolled over me without much thought then, but half a century later I humbly acknowledge that the gentle rebuke was completely in order. A word used so indiscriminately loses it real meaning--just means anything the speaker wants it to mean--which is a summary of our everyday usage of the word now.
Scripture, however, consistently connotes a very different meaning of the word. It is always used to describe powerful motivation; for God so loved the world that it cost the life of His beloved Son; Christ came to seek and save the lost, and we nailed Him to the cross. And most, if not all of His disciples, ultimately paid the same high price. Real love is still very costly, and the word should not be taken lightly.
Jesus said the second greatest commandment is to love one another "as I have loved you," which cost Him his life. We, His followers, need to stand ready to pay the same price.
"And now abide faith, hope and love: these three, but the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor. 13:13
Jesus said, "He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. John 14:21
The high cost of love is even recognized in secular literature. Sydney Carton in Dickens' The Tale of Two Cities said as he stepped up to the guillotine to die in place of his friend, "It's a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done before." Real love motivates us to give up our lives for people and principles that we truly love.
Love is the most powerful force on earth. For God is LOVE. 1 John 4:16
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