What is love?
It can be hard to grasp the love of God. Growing up I always knew God “loves” me…but I also loved candy, video games, my parents, and many other things. I knew God’s love meant more than everything else … but how much more? Before we jump into that though, lets look at this word “Love”.
Love is a word used often in the English language: “I love that movie”…”I love ice cream”….”I love my girlfriend”. This word is just thrown around so much that I believe we have become desensitized to its meaning. Lets see what definitions of love are out there (on dictionary.com and wikipedia.com):
- a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
- a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
- sexual passion or desire.
- a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
- (used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?
- a love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour.
- affectionate concern for the well-being of others: the love of one’s neighbor.
- strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything: her love of books.
- A score of zero in tennis.
God's love is all about action
If you ask me, there are far too many definitions for this one word. Actually, I find it quite sad that this word, the one that is supposed to capture the purest, most powerful feeling for a person, has been polluted with so many other meanings. I believe that this is a huge part of the reason why it is so hard for us to understand what God means when he says that four letter word.
To God, the word “love” has a much deeper meaning than it does for us. One of the greatest ways I can describe God’s love for us is found in 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.
God gave His one and only Son in exchange for us. Romans 5:8 says this:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Imagine giving up one of your children to die for someone you love … it would be so hard right? Most of us couldn’t do it. But imagine giving up your child to die for someone who has wronged you in every possible way, who is contrary to your very nature. I personally am not a father yet, but my closest comparison would be my little 7yr old brother, and I know without a doubt I couldn’t do it. I would never let my brother go through all that pain and suffering for someone like that. Someone who isn’t even close to deserving of this sacrifice. And yet God did it. Why?…because He loves us.
A love that changes lives
God’s love for me personally changed my life. For years I knew God, but I always assumed that I had to, in some way, earn the love and blessings from Him. But then I read in the Bible that it had nothing to do with what I could do, but what HE has already done. He gave Jesus - and he still would have sent Jesus to die for me even if I was the only person on the planet to take him up on the promise He made to us in John 3:16.
I want you to understand that also. If you were the only person who would believe in Jesus, you and you alone, God still would have sent him because you are worth it to God. He desires to be in a personal relationship with you now. Because He loves YOU.
So I encourage you to pursue an intimate relationship (or an even more intimate relationship) with God, and begin to learn for yourself how amazing and indescribable His love truly is.