Love is often misconstrued as a conjoined exercise of the mind or a merging of the flesh, but that is mere infatuation. True love is an employment of the heart – i.e. a spiritual endeavor.
Love is the ultimate state for all of us to attain – a place where we mirror and become one with God, opening the way for us to accept each other and all that is happening around us. (In the case of ‘negative happenings’ note that ‘acceptance’ is not the same as ‘condoning.’ Acceptance allows us to see what is real and what our part is in dealing with it. That concept requires a very deep investigation that we will take up in the near future.)
Love brings the end of suffering; it is heaven on earth.
What does love look like? God tells us; and to do so, He describes Himself:
Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.
Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is every ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are faceless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. 1 Cor. 13:4 – 8. AMP
Doesn’t that sound like the spiritual path that we all seek? That’s because from the moment we are born until we graduate from this life, we are called to emulate our God – who is Love itself and loved us even before we knew who He was:
God is love and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 Jn. 4:16 NASB
We love Him because He first loved us. 1 Jn. 4:19 NKJV
All God asks is that we love Him back. That cements our connection with Him and allows Him to move on our behalf:
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 1 Jn. 3:1 NASB
God is impartial with the doling out of His love. He loves all people no matter what. But He can only connect that love to those who seek Him out with love. Those who don’t cannot feel God’s love, nor do they understand His followers’ (saints) love for Him.
How do we show our love for God? Jesus clearly spells it out:
“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him…and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” Jn. 14:21 & 23. NKJV
We show God our love by lovingly obeying His word; and Jesus is the living word. Thus, Christ’s commandments are God’s commandments:
“Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;” Dt. 7:9 NASB
“Indeed, He loves the people; all Your holy ones are in Your hand, and they followed in Your steps…” Dt. 33:3 NASB
Jesus Christ distilled all of God’s commandments down into two – and they are both about love:
You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind (intellect). This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. These two commandments sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets. Mt. 22:37 – 40. AMP
When you love God, He rewards you with His love, which carries with it a plethora of big dividends:
Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love and kindness – trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never]. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show My salvation. Ps. 91:14 – 16. AMP
The LORD preserves all who love Him… Ps. 145:20 NKJV
But God – so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation). Eph. 2:4, 5. AMP
God’s love has us covered on every side – bringing us abundance and honor, delivering us from all that stands against us and it culminates in our salvation through Christ to spent an eternal love-filled life with Him.
The Father’s love is also reflected in the Son. When we love Jesus, it is mirrored back to Jehovah, which allows us to receive the love of Them both:
“…for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.” Jn. 16:27 NKJV
…know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:19 NKJV
If indeed we possess this love, it will be demonstrated in our behavior:
…make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard on another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Phil. 2:2 – 4. NASB
“…love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples…” Jn. 13:34, 35. NKJV
…he who loves God must love his brother also. 1 Jn. 4:21 NKJV
A friend loves at all times… Pr. 17:17 NKJV
Let all that you do be done with love. 1 Cor. 16:14 NKJV
Out of all things, God puts love on the top of His list:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have…but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Cor. 13:1 – 3. ESV
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Col. 3:12 – 14. ESV
God loves you. He pours it out like a torrent through His Son to all of His children and nothing can take it away:
…neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor thing to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. 8:38, 39. ESV
Life is love, it’s what you do, it’s who you are and it’s all you need. The Beatles said it best (showing my age):
All you need is love, love – love is all you need.
Goodnight and God bless.