Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thinking About Love

Allen Webster in the excellent publication, House to House/Heart to Heart, provides the following information about the word "love." According to Amazon.com, there are at least 32,507 books currently in print with the word love in the title (over 145,000 that deal with the subject of love). There are more than 11,000 popular albums/CDs with love in the title. A Google search of the Internet reveals that there are at least 121,000,000 Websites that use the word love as one of their key words.

Love, it seems, is on the mind of everyone. And, why not? Love cements a relationship between a man and a woman when they decide to get married. Their love for one another deepens through the years and, truly, they become as one. Love motivates parents to provide for their children and educate them. When they are physically or emotionally injured, loving parents suffer with them. When children succeed in life or accomplish a significant task, parents rejoice with them. Behind every kind and benevolent deed is love; or, at least, it should be.

Have you considered the fact that there are different kinds of love? For instance, there is the kind of love that is based on mere physical attraction. Unfortunately, some marriages are entered into with no deeper love than this and the results are disastrous. Physical attraction alone is no foundation for a lasting and meaningful relationship. Genuine love is far greater than physical attraction or emotional attachment. It involves more than just a feeling; it includes action as well.

There is no greater illustration of that kind of love than God’s affection for man. Consider these statements from the Bible. "But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). This passage reminds us that even when we are rebellious against God, He loves us. He demonstrated that love by sending His Son to die for us. The "golden text" of the Bible describes it this way: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son" (John 3:16). Through the gift of His Son, God has provided an opportunity for us to be in a saved relationship with Him. In Matthew 7:13-14, we learn that not everyone will be saved. The lost condition of man, however, is not due to God's failure to love him and provide an opportunity for him to be saved. The apostle John declared, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10).

Of the fact that God loves us, we can be certain. The important question is, "Do we love God?" It is not enough to declare with our lips that we love God. The proof of that love must be demonstrated by action. Jesus said, "If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments" (John 14:15). John stated in the inspired text, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments" (1 John 5:3). One's love for God will change the nature of his language from vulgarity and profanity to purity and praise. His conduct will change from immorality to virtue. His attitude will change from selfishness, vengefulness, and bitterness to servant hood, forgiveness, and kindness. His emphasis will change from "getting ahead in life" to making a life.

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