“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” — 1 John 4:8
What is Love?
The Great Commandment is to love God and love your neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40), but what we often fail to do is define love. What is love? The Greek word for love here is “agape.” It is a selfless, sacrificial, unconditional choice to seek God’s best for the object of that love.
Since God is love (1 John 4:8), we see love personified in Jesus. Our greatest need was to be forgiven for our sin and reconciled to God. And 1 John 3:16 tells us that Jesus saw our need and laid down His life so that our greatest need could be met. That is love.
Jesus commands us in Matthew 22:39 to love your neighbor as yourself. So here is a good barometer for loving our neighbors: Whatever you’d want someone else to do for you, do that for your neighbor. Selflessly and sacrificially do it for someone else (1 John 3:17-18).
If you’ve just had a rough day or lost a loved one and you’d want someone to comfort you, then go and comfort someone who has had a rough day or lost a loved one (Romans 12:15 says “weep with those who weep”). If you just lost your job and have no money and you’d want someone to help you find a new job or buy you lunch, then help that unemployed person find a job and buy them lunch.
Love is a choice, seen in sacrificial and selfless action. Pray that God would give you opportunities to put love into action.
— Ikki Soma, Houston Rockets chaplain
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