"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13
This last Sunday I read off about 10 verses concerning love...reminding the fellowship that without it we have nothing, rather we have become a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. Love trumps all things, which is why God chose to describe Himself as Love. (1 Jn 4:8)
A few verses on love:
"God so loved the world that He gave Jesus..." (Jn 3:16)
"Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." (Rom 13:10)
"The fruit of the Spirit is love...(Gal 5:22)
"The goal of our instruction is love..." (1 Tim 1:5)
"We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." (1 Jn 3:16)
The love of God used in these verses is not the same love that we use when we say "I love In & Out" (which hopefully everyone does, but we will save that for another blog post). The love of God, living in us by the Spirit of God, is a self-sacrificial love, it's a love that considers others as more important than self, and does what is best for others, regardless of whether or not they deserve it.
It's the kind of love demonstrated by Jesus in going and dying on the cross so that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of all their sins & eternal life! This is a radical, sacrificial, and selfless love.
I like this picture, it is such a good description of the love we are called to have for one another...according to the Word, our love for God is in direct proportion to our love for one another.
"We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother." (1 Jn 4:19-21)