We love our family. We love our pets. We love certain foods. We even love our cars or other material things. I find it amazing how many ways we can express or accept love! We show our love through hugs and kisses. We show our love with smiles and favors for others. We show our love in how we interact and how we talk with people around us. The list goes on and on. Love is a universal language spoken in one form or another by every person in existence including the very person who was the epitome of love in the flesh, Jesus Christ. Scripture tells of how much he loved us and he showed it by dying for us (John 3:16, Revelation 1:4-6).
As I was reading through 1 John 2:1-14, John speaks that he is not writing a new command but an old one, which we have had since the beginning (v. 7). This old command which was the primary focus of the new command under Christ’s death and resurrection was that of love. The old command was stated in Leviticus 19:18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” The new command can be found liberally sprinkled throughout the New Testament. Matthew 22:37-39, Galatians 5:14, 1 Corinthians 13:13 are but a few examples. In each of these verses the single command to love your neighbor as yourself is clearly written. Love; one word spoken by God into existence and one word carried out in action to bring salvation and eternal life to all of mankind. Love is such a small but powerful word.
The Lord struck my heart on many levels as I continued to read about love and its meaning, its implication in my life, its covering and protection. I was led to research the word love and was stunned by how much I learned…too much to put into one writing for sure. Before I break love down to its many definitions there is one over arching scripture I want to be a focus as you read each part of this “love” letter. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 really teaches us what love is, no matter the definition or type of love we are expressing. “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” This is God’s love for us! And this is the kind of love we should be bringing to all around us, even those we despise, those who hurt us, those who betray us, those who we call enemy. Yes, just as God’s love for us is never ending and unconditional, despite the sinners that we are, so too our love should be to others we encounter. As you journey with me through God’s picture of love, pray that he will search your heart and help you love as he does. Blessings and love in Christ I bring to you as we learn and grow together. God bless and keep you always!