Devotions / Dec 14, 2016
For God So Loved: Part 1
Love: An intense feeling of deep affection.
In my experience, this is not always been the best definition of love. The kind of love that this definition describes seems to be a type of “puppy love.” It’s more of a fluffed up feeling of love than the type of love God desires us to have.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28
While the world addresses love as merely a noun, God declares it as a verb! Action is the real evidence of true love. But the type of action is also very important. It’s quite easy, in the materialistic society we live in, to measure love by the objects we receive: flowers, jewelry, clothes, etc. Even though there is an action occurring, it becomes the point of love, rather than an occasional byproduct of it. True love is more than what another person is doing for me or getting for me.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” But what does love look like to God? Nearly ten years ago, Dr. Gary Chapman developed the concept of the five love languages which include: gifts, quality time, physical touch (intimacy), words of affirmation, and acts of service (devotion).
God’s exhibits all of these forms of love. God gave the ultimate gift though His son, Jesus Christ. God seeks quality time with us through different acts of piety, and through those acts, intimacy is formed. The bible holds God’s words of affirmation to us. Lastly, we can rest in God the knowledge that God is always performing acts of service for us through moments of protection, advocating, guiding, and favor, just to name a few.
Even while staring death in its face, even after being beaten, ridiculed, and shamed, Jesus was able to show love.
Because God shows love to us in these ways we can, in turn, show such love to others. This is easier said than done. While Christ’s love is unconditional, as humans, it is natural for us to attach love to our feelings. If someone angers us, hurts us, lies to us, betrays us, or talks behind our back, the last thing we want to do is love them. This is the strongest difference between our earthy love and God’s divine love. Even while staring death in its face, even after being beaten, ridiculed, and shamed, Jesus was able to show love by saying “Forgive them, for they not know what they do.” What amazing love that is, and what a challenging example for us to follow.
Discussion Questions: Does the love you show tend to be conditional or unconditional? What steps can you take to love more like Christ?