“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.” – Colossians 3:1-4.
Love is a word that means different things to different people, but seldom is it clearly defined. Love may mean anything or nothing. In our effort to define love, we sometimes try to prove our love by doing good works and helping one another.
The Bible reveals the very character and nature of a God whose love is overwhelming. It paints a picture of living a life that shows love for God, as well as for one another. Our goal is to mirror the same love that we witness from Him to our relatives, neighbors, and all those we meet.
Scripture is filled with stories of those who have modeled God’s love to others. Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness to the promised land, even after he had become so frustrated that he could not enter the land himself. The prophets of God delivered His word to people who continually ignored Him, and threatened the lives of His messengers. But they continued to faithfully reveal God to the people that He loved. Jesus Christ lived the commands and desires of His Father when He stepped into flesh and became like you and me. The apostles did not see the masses saved because they knew the teachings of Christ, but because they lived in them. They lived in the love that God gave them through Jesus.
To truly love, we must first know God. Love starts with God and ends with God because God is love. God’s love is consuming, it is passionate, and it is all-encompassing. It is the love that is missing in many marriages and relationships that end badly, and it is the glue that binds together all that thrive. 1 John 4: 7-8 says: “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
All God does is out of love. He loves perfectly. Our goal is to love as God loves. Love isn’t something that is derived from within us. It is radical. For the kind of love that God calls us to – the love that loves our neighbor as much as we love ourselves – must come from Him. We are required to demonstrate genuine love regardless of how we feel about a situation or a person. This means putting others above ourselves, our perceived needs, and our wants. That includes people who are trying to control or influence us as well as the people who support us on a daily basis. It’s only after being loved by God that we can truly love others.
Our goal is to become living examples of God’s love. The way to reflect this transforming love is to share and reflect that love. We cannot manufacture or initiate love, but we can share God’s love with others. And that’s the nature of love that lasts forever.
- How can we build a Christlike love that lasts a lifetime?
- What can we do this week to start building that love?