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What is True Love?

Love is in the air.


Valentine's Day is almost upon us.


For good or for ill, the world around us will be consumed with talk of love (or the lack of it) for the next weeks.


Then, after a brief indulgence into too much chocolate, it will soon be back to business as usual. By then, the novelty and the thrill will have subsided.


It's funny, sometimes it is just like that with love isn't it? It can start off so exciting, so overwhelming. Then after a bit it goes back to business as usual.


Why is that? Isn't love supposed to be the greatest thing in life? Isn't it supposed to fix everything?


Our culture is obsessed with love. As a society, we are in love with the idea of being in love. Some of us are full on addicted to the highs that come with affection.


Yet, it seems that our culture doesn't know a whole lot about love, about real love that is. As a society, we don't seem to know the difference between being in love with someone and being love for someone.


God is love.


When the Bible says that God is love, it means more than that God is a boundless source of affection.


His love goes beyond fleeting affection.


God is more than a limitless fountain of eternal affection (although He is certainly not less).


For humans, affections wax and wane. They wear off over time. Like a roaring fire, affections will one day smolder or snuff out, if they are not regularly tended.


Often, it is when our affections begin to wear off that we find out what true love really looks like. That is when we see love in action. We see the love that gives of itself even when it may not get anything back.


This is when we see that love is more than a feeling--love is action.


Scripture says that God is love.


But, what does that mean?


It means that God is the only one who fully knows how to love.


It means He has never confused being in love with someone with being love for someone.


He is not only the Author and Creator of love; He is the very personification of it.


God is love.


That means that everything that the Bible has to say about love is true about God.


So, everything that God's word says is true about love, is also true about God. Thus, 1 Corinthians 13 (the famous passage about love) is not only describing the way God loves us, it is describing God Himself.


As such, we could read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 as:


God is patient, God is kind.

God does not envy,

God does not boast,

God is not proud.

God does not dishonor others,

God is not self-seeking,

God is not easily angered,

God keeps no record of wrongs.

God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

God never fails.


God is love.


This is what His love looks like. This is God's love in action.


God is patient and kind. God is always for us—never against us. There is no condemnation for those who are His children in Christ.


God is always looking out for our well-being. He is avidly pursuing opportunities to bless us.


God does not put us down, use or embarrass us. God does not want to see us get hurt. He is not holding on to a list of our failures. He isn’t secretly waiting to say, "I told you so!" No, God is love and love doesn't do those kinds of things.


Love only does good things.


To love someone or something is to actively promote their good.


Love is goodness in action.


True love is a verb more than it is a noun. True love is goodness in action more than it is goodness in feeling.


This Valentine's Day, whether you are in a relationship or flying solo, I wish you a day filled with love.


I pray that you would feel the goodness of God's love toward you.


May you grasp how deep His love is for you. His actively pursuing the best for you, never failing, always good-willed, love is for you.


Brothers and sisters, may we all experience that love. And, may we offer to offer it to a world that desperately needs it.


Happy Valentine's Day!



Blessings,

Patrick

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