- Long before came along, God gave us love. Hallmark and other greeting cards may have commercialized holidays such as Valentine's Day, but true Love was demonstrated for us on an Old Rugged Cross over 2000 years ago. Today, love is defined as a "profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person; a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection," or even simply a passionate desire. But what does God's Word say love is?
The character qualities of love are given to us in 1Corinthians 13. We read that love suffers long and is kind, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things and that "love never fails." When we read such a glorious description of love, we may be inclined to discouragement if we tried putting our own name into the passage: Mary suffers long, Billy is kind, Joe believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, Jimmy never fails. The love spoken of here, however, is the agape, all-encompassing, sacrificial love of God. We read in 1John 4:16 that "God is love," a name that fits perfectly into the passage. If we look at God's description of love through the lens of agape, we come to see the nature and character of God's love toward us. We grow to understand that God sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sins because of His love that suffers long, endures all things and never fails. God is the fountainhead of agape and the more we understand that love, the more it will overflow to those around us. It matters not what great skills or talents we have, nor how much knowledge we might gain. We benefit nothing even for a life spent feeding the poor, becoming only as a "clanging symbol" (1Cor 13:1), if all is done without love.
God is love and it has been "perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world" (1John 4:17). Because God is love, and because He lives in us, that love can be accomplished with us as we demonstrate that love to the world.