The world seems to talk a great deal about love… it’s an overused cheapened term in today’s sexually saturated culture. I guess you could say that the world’s definition of love is all about fulfilling the sexual desires of each other. These days love is so cheap, couples fall out of love with each other just as quickly as they fall in love. “Love” fades so quickly.
That is a selfish kind of love. Today I want to talk about what REAL love is.
This passage of Scripture defines the real characteristics of true love…
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NKJV)
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 (not self seeking), 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.
8 Love never fails….
All these qualities can be found in the person of Jesus Christ and any true relationship that seeks to exemplify His example. After all, Love is from God (1 John 4:7).
All the above qualities are quite self explanatory. Love is longsuffering, love is kind, love is not envious, love is not proud, love is not rude etc etc. But what I want to focus on is the selfless aspect of love because that is the most neglected portion of this verse.
True love is manifested in devotion and action not emotion.
1 John 3:18 (NKJV)
“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed (actions) and in truth.”
The Lord Jesus showed true, selfless love (Romans 5:8) when He came down to this earth as a man and took the cruel punishment and ultimately faced death on a rugged cross for the sins of each and every individual in the entire world…. the weak, the strong, the rich, the poor, the desperate, the downcast, the bitter, the ungrateful, the proud, the God haters…
Man, that love is just so mindblowing! The son of God coming down to this earth to die in place of me? For my sins? He loved me enough to do that? WOW! If this doesn’t make you see and appreciate what raw, selfless love is then I really don’t know what will!
In John 15:13, Christ said “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
The amazing thing is that He himself did not die for his friends, he died for His enemies! It’s hard enough to die for a friend… but what about an enemy? While we were still lying, thieving, rebelling, hateful sinners, He died for us… amazing!
Love always puts the needs of others first. It’s self-giving, not self-seeking or selfish. This is exactly what Christ did when he left Heaven’s glory to come down to earth for us!
Love never fails! True love that is. True love means that you stick by that other person through the good times and the bad, the thick and the thin. That’s why there’s marriage vows and that’s why there’s the institution of marriage because it’s so easy for a guy and girl to say they love each other and be intimate but when the going gets tough they split up. In a marriage you are forced to stick by your spouse and go through whatever life throws at you because you made that solemn covenant before God that you would stick at it and be there “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part”.
So my question for you today is are you going to be actively looking for opportunities to put the needs of others first and demonstrate kindness and selflessness? How can you be more selfless in your actions? Are you following Christ’s example? Would you be willing to give up your life for someone else? If in a relationship, are you demonstrating selflessness to the other person?
I’ll leave it at that.