We know we are supposed to love others. Love is not merely a feeling or an emotion. Love is action. Love is a verb.
There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done, Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game, It’s easy
Nothing you can make that can’t be made, No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time, It’s easy
All you need is love, All you need is love, All you need is love, love, Love is all you need
“All You Need Is Love” The Beatles, 1967
John Lennon had NO Clue. I mean no offense, but this catchy tune with its memorable line has nothing of substance. Further, John Lennon’s history of violence and abuse proves that he had no idea what he was talking about. He once said, “That is why I am always on about peace, you see. It is the most violent people who go for love and peace. Everything’s the opposite. But I sincerely believe in love and peace.” That doesn’t make sense. Are the most violent the most loving?
Love is Action.
You feel loved because someone takes Action. You can talk about love. You can desire love or long for it. But, ultimately, love is something that you do. Actions of real love are the most counter-cultural behaviors of those who follow Jesus.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT) Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
Imitation of the Father. God is love – 1 John 4:8 – He is the definition of love. When the world calls God harsh, cruel, uncaring, and so many other things, they are arguing with the definition of love. They are attempting to define love based upon their own understanding.. They believe in themselves to define love. And that love tends to be quite self-centered. Many practically believe, “Real love loves me, agrees with me, comforts me, and protects me”.
I believe that real love, in a world drowning in self-absorption, looks like hate. And, the antidote to the cancer of narcissism is this: God IS Love. Not you. Our definitions for love are weak. Sadly our obsession with LOVE as WE define it, has robbed us of the ability to experience God’s Love.
Ephesians 3:18 (NLT) And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.
How do you imitate God if you cannot comprehend or accept His Love? How might we comprehend love when it comes from a dictionary not of this world?
The Example of Jesus. Jesus lived a life of sacrifice. Philippians 2 presents a picture of Jesus leaving heaven behind to come here. Jesus’ story presents a relatively normal life up until his baptism. A life with difficulty and pain. Yet, He is joyful. Yet, he seems content. Then when baptized and the Holy Spirit of the Father descended upon Him, it got real. It was powerful and strange. It was fun and frightening. He taught, He listened, He loved, He touched and He healed. Then He was arrested, condemned, humiliated, abused, and murdered. Then He rose again.
Isn’t that what love is about – rising again? Loving again, restoring again, caring again, and sacrificing again. Love is consistent. Messy, sure, but consistent. Every gut punch is followed by a stagger and a return to the fray.
The Early Christians. One historical record states, “When a devastating plague swept across the ancient world in the third century, Christians were the only ones who cared for the sick, which they did at the risk of contracting the plague themselves. Meanwhile, others were throwing infected members of their own families into the streets even before they died, in order to protect themselves from the disease.” Early believers knew love was action.
Acts 2:44-46 (NLT) And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity
We declare God as the definition of love, just as the Bible does. Only in knowing God can we discover and express love.
Love Is Not…
Ephesians 5:3 (NLT) Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.
Using People. Love isn’t about getting what you want. It’s not about getting your needs fulfilled. Too often in our days, love is using people for fantasy, sex, or money. I cannot love you and use you. That’s idolatry. Love doesn’t use people.
Lying to people. Love means I tell you the truth. I tell you the truth appropriate to our relationship and our time.
Romans 12:15 (NLT) Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
In order to abide by the scripture above, we must be vulnerable. That means we share good AND bad. Too many focus on good or bad to the exclusion of the other.
Love means discovering my own expectations and either releasing them or sharing them. So, discover them. If you realize they are unhealthy, release them. If they are healthy then articulate and share them.
Ephesians 5:25-27 (NLT) For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean…
Love has a Focus, a Purpose, and a Blessing. You can love the whole world, BUT don’t you assume you do, when you can’t love those closest to you. Love requires focus, concentration, intention, and action.
Love makes someone else more. Love encourages, helps, and serves. Love is a blessing. So, be a blessing. How could you be a blessing to your family, church, friends? Don’t ask them. Ask “Love” (aka God) and then do what He says.