“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
-1 Corinthians 13:13
Lately I’ve been talking a lot about faith. But, just as faith is important, so is love. Faith works through love and that is more important than the law (Galatians 5:5-6). With faith comes true love; not the mere mortal kind but the kind that comes from God. The kind that is willing to make sacrifices, has understanding, and is patient. The love that is humble and not selfish. The love that will do anything to protect and will persevere through hardship.
“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 and sisters.”
-1 John 3:16
God IS love. He set for us an example of what our love should be like. If we do not love God, than we do not know true love. God dwells in those who love and makes them complete. There is no fear in love; rather perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with negative consequences. You cannot claim to love God but then hate someone. How can you not love someone whom you can see but then claim to love what you cannot see? (1 John 4) God loves us so much that He sent His one and only Son so that He may set us free and dwell among us in the New Heaven.
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love.”
Love is so important that the Law can be based upon two commandments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. With love for God comes our faith and trust. With it comes dependence on Him and true repentance. Our love cannot be mere words and talk but must be shown in truth and action (1 John 3:18).
“This love I speak of means that we must live in obedience to God’s commands.
The command, as you have all heard from the beginning, is that you must all live in love.”
-2 John 6