What Love Is

Pinnacle Mountain in Arkansas (1 Cor. 13)

What is love?

It’s an age-old question asked by age-old poets and philosophers all over the world. And I came across its answer the other day in 1 John 3:16: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

Last month we reflected on Jesus’ sacrifice. We vowed to reflect on it throughout the year. Some of us think on it daily. Others of us slip right back into our over stimulated, overbooked, and self-concerned pace of life. We run ourselves ragged and empty. In our exhaustion, we feel unlovable and unloving and ask that age-old question: what is love anyway?

Friends, we know what love is! John says repeatedly “God is love” (1 John 4) and explains that we ought to love not “with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18). Not only do what know the answer to that age-old question, but we also know how to love. Christ is our example. He laid down his life for us and we are compelled to do the same. Merely speaking of love is emptiness. We must live out love to those around us, to our brothers and neighbors. Maybe this means powering down the iPhone and giving your child, student, or coworker your undivided attention. Maybe this means canceling an activity or two for the sake of quality time with your spouse or friend. Maybe this means denying yourself those extra ten minutes tomorrow morning and investing in your relationship with God.

It’s hard to power down, say no, and rise early to spend time with Jesus. But Jesus enabled us to show love for Him and those around us when He laid down His life for us. When we deny ourselves and choose to love Him and others, you’ll find that you feel loved and loving. It’s a wonderful feeling. If you doubt your ability to even log-off of Facebook (or step back from this computer) and show love to those around you, remember that in our weakness He is our strength. Through Jesus, we can show the world that we’ve had the answer all along.

Reflection of the Week: How are you showing love? In what ways could you show more love for God and those around you?

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