How do you define a word that is incomprehensible? There are no words that can truly explain love. Actions leave so many questions. Expressions are so shallow. Our understanding is so limited. How do you grasp something that is beyond our ability to express?
Love is not limited to any one method of definition, it truly encompasses word and deed in order to be fully realized yet never fully understood. There are many examples of love that are found in God’s Word that represent an aspect of love. By far the best was when Jesus Himself laid down all that He was as a perfect and sinless man, and picked up all that we are as broken and fallen people. There was only one time in eternity where Jesus was separate from His Father, the one time He needed Him most. All in order that He might sacrifice His life to die a horribly graphic, blood laden death on a cross for all of humanity.
Our human brain may grasp the rational answer: one life for millions. Still, it is a very harsh reality although justifiable in our minds. But then you take away the millions and apply the same sacrifice for just one… That reality is hard to stomach, however I would be willing to do so for my wife or children. Reality kicks in, He did it just for me? Why would You do that? I am not worthy of that kind of sacrifice! Not in a million years would I ask anyone to do something even close to that.
He didn’t ask me.
He didn’t run.
He did however ask if there was another way. Knowing there was not, He faced His purpose for being on this earth with boldness and conviction and with MY name on His heart and my face in His thoughts.
That is love. That is pure love. John 15:13 says, “No one has greater love than to lay down his life for a friend.” This is the one thing that we can give away and never regain. My paraphrase of the verse is as follows: If I give money to help the poor, I will earn more. If I give of my time, I will see blessing come to others. If I am hurt in the line of duty, I will heal. But if I give my life, there is no coming back from that! It is truly a selfless act showing the ultimate heart of love.
1 Corinthians 13 is the famous chapter of love in the Bible. It explains many of the attributes of love. What it means, what it does, what it does not, how it acts, and how it does not act. Why is it so important? You can speak with all the wisdom from every age. You can talk about God until the trees ask you to stop. You can work your body until there is nothing left. But if you do not show that you have love, it is all a worthless amount of nothing! Why? People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Love brings fullness of life to the empty areas within each of us.
Love gives us a reason to get out of bed, seeking after something bigger than just who we are. When people “fall in love,” it is not because they have found someone who treats them like dirt and kicks them when they are down. It is because they have met someone willing to lay down part of their agenda in order to be a part of someone else’s.
I would encourage you to read through 1 Corinthians 13 today. Ask God what He wants to show you about YOU and who YOU are. This challenge is not about your spouse, parents, kids, relatives, etc. What does God want to show you about you? Let Him speak to you. Ask God to prepare your heart to receive His love and truth for your life.
Once you have read it, re-read it again, only this time replace the word “love” with YOUR name. “Matt” is patient, “Matt” is kind. As you do this exercise, search your heart. Ask Him to reveal the truth about what is in this beautiful chapter. I believe He will reveal some powerful things to you! Some may even require you get on your face before Him and let Him begin to do (what I call) heart surgery. It may hurt and may take some time, but there is no better time spent than this. Truly there is no greater gift from the Father than when we allow Him to change, shape, and mold us into one He can use for His kingdom.
What is love? It is God’s heart in action!
Written By: Pastor Matthew Grieser
Matthew is our Pastor of Children & Youth