LOVE
All Bible quotes are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.


Introduction

According to the Bible, Love is the greater than faith and hope (1 Corinthians 13:13). Therefore, it is appropriate that we include a page that covers the various facets of love that the Bible teaches.

 

Definition of Love

To start with, the Bible defines "LOVE" at 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

This is a thorough definition of love, and it can seem a bit intimidating when we try to follow it to the letter. However, since love is the greatest of things, we need to do our best to have love and display it. Everything we do in our daily living must be done with the element of love involved (1 Corinthians 16:14).

 

Love and God

Love is one of the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22). This makes sense because God is a spirit (John 4:24) and He is the personification of love (1 John 4:8, 16),and love is from God (1 John 4:7). God loves us (John 3:16, Ephesians 2:4). We must imitate God by walking in love (Ephesians 5:1). This is why we are commanded to love others (Leviticus 19:18,34, Deuteronomy 10:19, Matthew 19:19, Matthew 22:39, John 13:34, John 15:17), even our enemies (Matthew 5:43-46, Luke 6:27). We are also to love the laws of God (Proverbs 4:1-6). Also, if we love Christ, we will observe his commandments (John 14:15,23-24, John 15:9-10, 1 John 5:3, 2 John 6). And of course, we are to love God with our whole heart, soul strength and mind (Deuteronomy 6:5, 10:12, Deut. 11:1, 13,22, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30). God will not forget love shown in His name (Hebrews 6:10). Christ's disciples will have love among themselves (John 13:34).

 

Love's Responsibilities

Love covers over all transgressions (Proverbs 10:12, Proverbs 17:9, 1 Peter 4:8). Love builds a person up (1 Corinthians 8:1). Love does not work evil to one's neighbor (Romans 13:10). Our love must be without hypocrisy (Romans 12:9). Love is better than riches (Proverbs 15:17). We must have brotherly love for one another (Romans 12:10, 1 Thessalonians 4:9, Hebrews 13:1). The only thing that we really owe one another is love (Romans 13:8).We must remember to show love to those who have repented from their sins (2 Corinthians 2:5-10).
Although having gifts of the spirit is good, those mean nothing if you don't have love as well (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). Though we may seek spiritual gifts, we must always remember to pursue love (1 Corinthians 14:1, 1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 2:22). We must put up with one another in love (Ephesians 4:1-2). Love is a perfect bond of union (Colossians 3:14).We are to incite each other to love and fine works (Hebrews 10:24). Though we are to show love, we are not to show favoritism (James 2:8). He that does not love is as good as dead (1 John 3:14).

The above plethora of Scriptures may seem exhausting when trying to live by love in every way. Don't let this intimidate you. Just show a loving attitude towards all people in all things and you'll automatically fulfill the love. Granted, this isn't always easy, but don't let a slip-up set you back. Just pick yourself up and get back into the love.

 

Biblical Examples

There are many examples throughout the Bible that show the different ways in which love is displayed towards others. Here are a few examples:

Parental Love: An example of parental love is in 1 Kings 3:16-27. This is the account of two prostitutes who shared a home. Each had a baby boy about the same time. One morning, one of the women awoke to find her baby dead. So, she switched babies with her roommate, pretending the living baby was hers. The roommate awoke to find the trickery, and the two began arguing about it. They took the problem to wise king Solomon. Each woman claimed the living son to be hers. Solomon didn't know any other way to resolve it, so he decreed that the living child be severed in two, and each woman be given half. At once the real mother begged the king to give the whole boy alive to the other woman. Meanwhile, the other woman said "go ahead and sever the child!" By her reaction, the king realized who the real mother was, because she loved her son enough to give him to another woman in order to save his life. Thus, he halted the killing and gave the living baby to her. The real mother showed great love to her son, because she was willing to live the rest of her life without him to save him. The consequences to herself meant nothing to her.

Love of God: An example of our love towards our God is shown in the book of Acts, Chapter 6, with a faithful man named Stephen. He was a man full of holy spirit, and he had the gifts of signs and wisdom (Acts 6:8-9). This was upsetting the false religious leaders at the time, and he was arrested because of his love and zeal for God and Christ (Acts 6:10-12). Eventually, he was stoned to death for his beliefs (Acts 7:54-8:1). Stephen stayed faithful to God to the very end. This is a wonderful example of showing love for our God despite the hardships and persecutions we incur for it.

Neighborly Love: An example of neighborly love is shown in a well-known parable that Jesus told. This is at Luke 10:25-37. For those who may be unfamiliar with the story, here is a brief summary: A Jew from Jerusalem was traveling alone on a road and was ambushed by robbers who left him for dead. Not too long after, a Jewish priest happened to be walking down the same road. He saw the Jew, but crossed the road and kept on going as if he didn't see him. A little while later, a Levite man (who is also a Jew) came walking through, sees the beaten man, and crossed the road and ignored him. Next came along a Samaritan man. Now, Samaritans and Jews didn't have anything to do with each other, yet this Samaritan took pity on the poor Jew. He bandaged up the man's wounds and carried him on his donkey to an inn and took care of him. He gave the innkeeper some money to help the man, and told him that if he spent more he'd repay him on his return trip.
This parable reveals that we are to show love to all, even those who are our enemies. What a fine example Jesus gave in this story!

Love For One's Parents: An example of love for one's parents was displayed by Jesus as he was dying, at John 19:25-27. Just before his death, he saw his mother, Mary, and his disciple, John. Apparently, Mary was widowed by this point, because Jesus goes on to entrust Mary into John's care as if she were his mother. John accepts the responsibility. This is a great example of a son making sure to care for the needs of his parent.

The Ultimate Sacrifice: And last,but certainly not least, the best example of love there ever was: Christ's sacrifice for our sins. As the Bible says, this was an act of love on God's part (John 3:16) as well as an act of love by Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14-15, Ephesians 3:19). And as the Bible says, "No one has greater love than this - to surrender his soul on behalf of another person"(John 15:13).

 

Conclusion

In all things we do, and towards all people we encounter, we must display love (Matthew 7:12, 1 Corinthians 16:14) Of course, this can be a real challenge at times, and seem impossible even! Nevertheless, the idea is that we imitate God's love as best as we can in all facets of our lives. God sees when we do this, and He remembers the love we show

 



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