How do you know when you truly love someone? Not just physical attraction, but deep sincere love of the actual person? It is a question that is often heard of children and many teenagers often wonder the same thing.. and dare I say even some adults carry this question with them as-well? After all there are hit songs on the radio asking the same question “what is love?”.
An often heard phrase is that God is Love, but if one does not truly know what real love is then the phrase means very little. Today we will be exploring this question, and we are going to learn not only what love is, but also more about our God, who embodies true love.
Okay, so let’s not waste any more time, let’s get right into scripture… John 15:12-14:
“This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you.”
There are several things that we can learn from these three verses. First of all it is a commandment from our LORD to love one another. Many people struggle over this verse and try to love more, but this is not what the verse means nor what Jesus intended. Look again at what Jesus said: love one another as I have loved you. This is the key.
We can never really have true love for each other until we first know how much Christ has loved us. And right in the very next verse He tells us plainly how much He does love us. He loves us with the greatest love possible. To willingly give up His own life, though He committed no sin, He gave up His own life to save us.
Many people think that He was captured and crucified, but He was not. He willingly surrendered Himself, although He could’ve escaped at any time. He humbled Himself and took upon Himself your sins and my sins, and bore all of the punishment for us that we might live a blessed, abundant and righteous life apart from all of our sins; free from all condemnation, for our sins are no more.
Back to our scripture verses, look at verse 14, He calls us His friends. He makes a point to do this specifically so there is no doubt that He loves you. Look at what He says: you are my friends if you do what I command.
And what is His command? To love each other. And how do we do that? By seeing how He has first loved us.
So let’s look at some characteristics of this true love from Christ.
Firstly He is God, and yet He cared enough to come down as a man, yes ultimately to die, but He also took it upon Himself to have fellowship with us, and teach us and healed all who came to Him.
If He wanted to He could’ve simply became a man and died for our sins in the span of a few hours and been done with it. The extra time He took was purely because He not only intended to fulfill His plan, but because He truly cares about us.
He could’ve been much more efficient if He just came down to earth and died immediately… but He took that extra time (a lifetime) to teach us, and fellowship – just spending time – hanging-out, celebrating, even grieving over a lost friend, who He then raised from the dead!
He came as a man, but was still God, and yet He loved us enough to care about us. Let the fullness of what that really means sink into your heart.
My friends, for those of you wondering what love really means, it is this. Real love has very little to do with physical attraction… that is mostly lust. Real love is about caring.
When you truly love someone, you will care about their wants and needs. Their desires will become your desires.
You will want to spend time with them, and you will be disappointed when you have to be apart. You will count the seconds until you can see them again, and relish every moment you are together.
This is love. And Jesus, being God still took the time and the investment and the pleasure in loving us to the fullest… even though it cost Him great pain and unimaginable suffering; He still did it for us, so that we would not have to suffer, and we would ultimately spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
Receive His gift, believe on Him, and know true love as it comes into your life today!