Love is one of the most talked about subjects in the Bible. In the New International Version love is mentioned over five hundred times. It varies between translations. But it still gets the point across.
Love is something very important to God. Love comes from God.
Looking through the Bible you can see many instances where love had influenced decisions and choices. Over and over it has been something that has impacted people for good or for evil.
It is important because God loves us.
It was He who made us. Among all the livestock, the birds of the air, the sea creatures, and everything else that he made, it was us who He bless. It was us who He made in His own image. There is nothing on Earth like us.
It was He who decided to save Noah and his family from the flood He was to send. He had seen the depravity that humanity had sunken into and He was prepared to wipe them out, though it broke His heart. But Noah He saved, because he found favor with God.
It was He who saved the Israelites over and over and over. Though they abandoned Him for idols time and time again, He still considered them His People. Sometimes they were righteously punished for breaking their covenant with Him. But other times He showed mercy on them.
It was He who sent His only son into this fallen world so that we, His people, might be save. He sacrificed His own son for us.
It was He who gave us choices. Animals don’t have choices. They have instincts. But God, from the beginning, has given us choices. The first was to follow His command and not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He did not make us to be robots, programmed to do His Will. No, He gave us choices, decisions. Throughout the course of the Bible, He has let us decide.
All of this was done out of love. Even when He punished people, He did it out of love. He loves us enough to punish us when we sin. But He also loves us enough to have mercy on us when we sin.
But what is love, essentially? What does it mean to love God?
Love is usually described as a emotion, a feeling.
But it is so much more than that.
Love is sometimes painful; love hurts a lot.
Love can be stressful and worrisome.
Love is sacrifice.
It is a sacrifice of time spent for others.
It is a sacrifice of money well earned.
It is a sacrifice of pleasures freely enjoyed.
It may even be a sacrifice of your life.
But love is also freedom. (Freedom from sin if you let Christ into your life.)
It is hope.
It is joy.
It is peace.
It is kind.
It is relief.
It is fearless.
It is thankfulness.
It is a leap of faith, one that you’ll never want to return from.
This is what it means to truly love God.
Do you love God?