WHAT IS LOVE?

I JOHN 4:10-11: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

OBSERVATION: What is love? This is a good question to ask. The word “love” is thrown around so freely today that it has lost its’ meaning. People cry out – “I love you man!”, but what does that mean? Without any measuring standard it really does not mean a thing. The “love” that the world portrays does not sustain a marriage, does not preserve a family, and does not survive the test of time. There must be a qualifying standard if “love” is to have any real meaning.

This Scripture does give “love” a qualifying standard. This standard is the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. It is not simply that he died for us. Paul says in Romans that a good man may sometimes even die for another man. This standard for “love” is amplified by the term “propitiation”. “Propitiation” means that Jesus not only became our substitute, but He also became our penalty and bore the wrath of God that was directed toward us because of our sin. Jesus established the true standard of “love’ when He willingly died for us – while we were His enemies, while we were under the wrath of God, while we were sentenced to eternal separation from God because of our sin. Jesus bore our sin, sickness, penalty, and punishment on the Cross. This is the true standard of “love” – unselfish, unconditional sacrifice for another.

Paul writes of this “love” in I Corinthians 13 – “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. Love never fails…” (‭I Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭4-8‬ NKJV)

This is the “love” we are called to. It is a love the world does not understand because it only flows from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Only the “born again” heart has the capacity to offer true “sacrificial love”. Although the world does not understand it they are seeking it. All the songs that are written about love, all the books, movies, and poems – are crying for “love”. We hold the answer to the world’s number one quest – God is Love! Jesus Christ is the manifest expression of the Love of God to mankind. Through faith in Christ we can be transformed to enter into His love. This “love” will sustain a marriage, it will preserve a family, it will survive the test of time. This love is eternal! This love never fails! This is the love of God through Christ Jesus available to all who will believe!

Lord, thank You for Your great Love! Thank You for Your Transforming Love! Thank You for Your Eternal Love! Transform me by Your Love and let me invite as many as I can to embrace it through faith in Jesus Christ! In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy to follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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