Love: What a Small Word
February is called the love month. We send people cards and letters telling them just how much we love them. We buy flowers and candy and even expensive jewelry to show just how much we love them. It makes us feel good to do these things and to say these things. So I ask this simple question: when it comes to God, is it enough just to tell God that we love Him? God is so vast and so powerful and man is so simple and small, can such a small word as love be enough to express our love for God? I know that God gave us our speech and our words and we have bounds, not like God who has no bounds. But even at that, is it enough just to tell God we love Him? We know that God so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son. God did not only tell us that He loves us, but He gave something very dear to Him to show His love.
What about us? How do we show God that we love Him? Well some may say, I go to church. Others may say, I pray. Other may even say that they serve in their church or congregation. But is this enough? Well, some may say, I don’t only serve at my church but I volunteer in my community. But is this enough? God is a big God, and He must require a lot from us. Others may say, I do not need to do anything to show God my love because I am saved by grace and none of my deeds are necessary because we are not saved by our works. To that I say, We are talking about love not salvation.
Let’s take a closer look at what God requires of us to show our love for Him.
John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep My commandments.”
John 14:21, “Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, he it is 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 14:23-24, “Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. Whoever does not love Me does not keep My words. And the word that you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.’”
1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”
Luke 10:27, “And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’”
John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
1 John 4:7-8, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
We have seen a few things that are required of us. By these things (love, keeping the commandments, dying to self, and serving only God), we show our love for Him. Of course, this list is limited for this teaching, but it gives us an idea of what we need to do in our lives going beyond just saying to God, “I love you.”
1 John 3:18 tells us, “My children, our love should not be only words and talk. No, our love must be real. We must show our love by the things we do.” So let us love God not just in word but in deed, and if we are to love God this way then we need to love one another also this same way.
1 Corinthians 13 tells us what true love is and how to show it: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love”
Love goes beyond physical things, for the world’s way is not love. But when we love from the heart, then the fruit of love is real and sweet and good. This year, let’s learn to love God and man according to real love: God’s love.
Let’s say it God’s way!