In society today, we are taught that love is a feeling, measured in extremes. Love is understood as affection or romance--and in order to be worth the investment, it should be maintained at an emotionally high level. In contrast, the Bible teaches that love is self-giving.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus says: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34-35). To love Biblically is to give of ourselves. Biblical love is centered more in the will than in our feelings, and it is more concerned about giving than receiving.
Biblical love cannot be self-manufactured. It is something that is poured out from what God has poured in.
But Biblical love cannot be self-manufactured. It is something that is poured out from what God has poured in. As Paul wrote in Romans, "God's love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us" (Romans 5:5).
This love is from God Himself, and it is something we are to be unified and fervent about (see 1 Thessalonians 4:9, Philippians 2:2, and 1 Peter 4:8).
Biblical love is not easy to understand or to express faithfully, but it is always easy to identify. As we pray for self-sacrificing expressions of love, we will see transformation in our lives and in the lives of those we encounter. Love will then become something we seek to give--not something we merely seek to have. This will give us new opportunities to express love and a willingness to engage with others.
Prayer: God, I pray that You would help me to pour out the love that You have so generously poured in me, a love that is self-giving and unconditional--even when I feel it is undeserved. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another" (John 13:34).