“Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.”–Helen Keller
“You can give without loving But you cannot Love without Giving.”–Amy Carmichael
I love you. I adore you. You’re amazing. Love ya. You are so awesome. I love you a bushel and a peck. Love you to the moon and back. Love you to the mountains and back. I’m yours. You complete me. You’re my angel. You’re mine. These are all expressions of love–love phrases–that many of us have said to one another to express our deepest feelings of “love.”
But what is love? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines love as (noun):
- strong affection for another arising out of kinship of personal ties (i.e. maternal mother)
- affection and tenderness felt by lovers
- affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests
- an assurance of affection (i.e. give her my love)
- the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration
- unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another (i.e. the fatherly concern of God for humankind; brotherly concern for others)
- a person’s adoration of God
This week my husband took me to see the new “Downton Abbey” movie. I asked him a couple of days before it was to begin showing in the theater if he wanted to see it, and he would always say “not really.” But by Friday morning (the opening day of the movie), he asked me if I wanted to go to the first afternoon showing. I gladly jumped at this invitation and afterwards he mentioned that the movie had a slow start, but by the end of the movie he felt “an emotional attachment” for it.
My husband decided out of his love for me that he would give up whatever he felt was deemed more important on his to-do list that day to take me to see the movie that I couldn’t wait to see. Throughout the 50 years that we have been married, he never ceases to surprise me by giving unselfishly–even if it means sitting through a movie that he didn’t want to see in the first place–just to make me happy. To me, this is love.
Throughout the scriptures, God’s Word tells and shows us what love is all about:
John 15:12: “My command is this: love each other as I have loved you.” (NIV)
I John 3:1: “How great is the love that the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God.” (NIV)
I Corinthians 13:1-3: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (NIV)
I Corinthians 13:13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (NIV)
I John 4:16: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” (NIV)
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (NIV)
I Corinthians 13:4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (NIV)
Jesus admonishes us to love each other as much as He loved us. When Jesus was asked in Matthew 22:36: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied in Matthew 22:37-39 that we are to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments (vs 40).” (NIV)
John 15:13: “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (NIV)
Jesus laid down his life for us all. Now this is love.
May the Lord bless and keep you and make his face to shine upon you and give you peace and love in showing others the kind of love that God shows us. Be kind, be compassionate, be grateful, be forgiving. We only live once and the time to love is now!