|About Tiffany: Lives in Alabama with her husband, Lex. She works at a local Credit Union and volunteers at her church, where she serves as a worship leader.|
Five Bible Passages on Love Which Apply to Everyone
By Tiffany Layton
February. Some people anticipate this month with dread or annoyance at the commercialization of love. Others look forward to February with a blissful anticipation of romance. But I really don’t think much of it at all. Regardless of your take on this particular month, I want to propose a different perspective of love altogether. Whether we see it with a blissful naiveté, terribly jaded, or neutrally indifferent, love did not originate in these man-made interpretations. There is an original language of love written and recorded for us which supersedes any of our human understandings.
Love originates with God, and He defines love beautifully in Scripture.
He loved and died for us despite our sin.
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:6-8 NLT)
I cannot think of a greater demonstration of love than to sacrifice what you love most for someone who is not reciprocating love. Sending Christ to die for us so God might have eternal relationship with us, if we choose Him, is something many of us will never fully understand. And yet in His perfect love, God did just that.
By His love we are freed from our sins.
But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) (Ephesians 2:4-5 NLT)
God not only demonstrated His love for us by sending Christ to die while we were still sinners, but He also sacrificed to free us from the death of sin and bring us to life in Him. There never has been, nor will there ever again be, such a love.
Absolutely nothing can separate us from His love.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? … No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. (Romans 8:35a; 37-38 NLT)
If you have been a Christian any length of time, this likely is a well-known verse. And if you have not been a Christian long, there are still portions of this verse which can be read over quickly and potentially missed. Re-read it slowly, with fresh eyes taking in each word. This kind of love transcends literally any and everything and is the original definition of love by God.
God IS love in its purest form.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So, we will not be afraid on the day of judgement, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. (1 John 4:16b-17 NLT)
Our human understanding of love is often based on experiences. It is based on the actions of others, whether good or bad. However, the true understanding of love is found in God Himself! Everything that makes up His character defines love. This is why, regardless of our personal feelings towards the “month of love,” we can approach it with awe and excitement.
We are called to follow God’s example of love.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35 NLT)
The beauty of this God-defined love is the fact that we are not limited to the love we have or have not been shown by others. We are free to love others, regardless of the type of relationship, as we have been loved by God.
As we see in these Scriptural examples, God has written the original, ultimate language of love. A selfless, pure, sacrificial, powerful, intimate, and lifesaving love. No other love compares. This is why we can approach this month, and every month, with joy knowing from the beginning of time, we have been loved flawlessly and perfectly.
Think through your perception of love. Write down ways it may differ from what’s shown in the Bible. (Refer to the passages listed in this blog post.)
In your quiet time, study God’s definition of love displayed in His life, actions, and character.
Spend some time in prayer asking God to teach you the true definition of His love.