Sony’s Devotional: What is Love?

Recently, I was listening to “Love is a Cross,” a song which the Mike LeFevre Quartet recorded a few years ago on their “Legacy” project. I’ve loved that song since I first heard it but, this time, a line jumped out at me. “I’ve read that love … is something the world cannot achieve.” How true! And without God, we couldn’t love anyone either. Yet, we are commanded to love.

“If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20-21). Wow! That’s a pretty tall order, isn’t it. Well, now that we know what we need to do, how do we know when we are accomplishing that goal?

I’m sure we’re all familiar with 1 Corinthians 13 but I can’t think of a better place to start when defining love. “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Does this describe you? I know it doesn’t describe me perfectly; yet this is what we need to be striving for.

Too many people make excuses for why they can’t follow Biblical commands. Yet Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, He will let us know when we are not loving others as we should. When we feel that conviction, we need to quickly get on our knees and repent and then be willing to repent to those whom we have not loved. Even when we need to separate from someone as a result of unrepentant sin, we can do so in a loving way. God will give us the ability to walk in love if we seek Him and ask for His help. On our own, we can do nothing but, with Him, we can do everything!

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4 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Great post.

    Love other and love God – what Jesus very clearly and directly gives as the two greatest commandments. Seems to me that Christians of every denomination, and whether conservative or progressive, ought to pay a lot more attention to that.

  2. See, Sony…I DO read and comment on your entries! This is another timely reminder for all of us.

  3. Another great scripture is 2 John 1:6:

    And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

    The love God wants us to have is manifested through obedience. God never commanded us to have sentimentalism toward one another — only to obey, regardless of how we feel about someone. This goes along with your opening paragraph. No one (especially the world) can achieve true godly love without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

  4. Paul, you are right. If it’s true they they’ll know we are Christians by our love, probably few people can spot Christians these days.

    Bob, thank you for quoting that Scripture. Another great definition of love. Reading your comment reminded me of people I’ve known who would do something to irritate me and then tell me that I have to love them because I’m commanded to do so. I was never sure they understood the real meaning of those Scriptures. As Believers, the point is not to take advantage of others, knowing they will be judged for their response. We need to treat them as we would like to be treated; however, when others do wrong us, you’re right: we need to love them regardless of how they feel.

    Inquirer, thank you for reading my post and leaving me a note. It would serve me right if you didn’t read my posts for a while but, then, I guess you’re practicing true love and forgiveness, aren’t you. 🙂