Love … the hallmark of a Christian

Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

Romans 13:10 (NLT)

Love will usually be defined with emotions and feelings attached to it. But love is more than emotions and feelings. As humans, God created us to love and be loved. The foundation of every relationship is rooted in love. Love is the anchor on which our relationship with God and others hold.

Few lessons for us from the Bible on what love is and how to show true love to the ones around us.

God is Love

But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. I John 4:8 (NLT)

God created us for a relationship. He loved us from the start in Adam in the Garden. He continues to love us even when our actions and desires shift and drift away from His intended purpose.

The story of creation even until now shows us that God is love and He loves us beyond our widest imaginations.

Love fulfills the law

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT)

In the Old Testament, God gave the Ten Commandments (read Exodus 20) to guide the children of Israel in their relationship with Him and with one another. We still reference those commandments till date. Jesus helped us to understand the principle behind those commandments which is love. Love God and Love others. Our daily choices centered on the principle of love helps us to fulfill the Ten Commandments.

Love Acts

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. I John 3:18 (NLT)

Love is more than words. True love acts in the best interest of all concerned. Love serves. (Galatians 5:13-15). Love forgives (Proverbs 10:12) Love corrects (Proverbs 3:12) Love gives (I John 3:17) Love cares (Matthew 25:34-40)

Love Does No Harm

The measure of love is to do no harm. God did not give the Ten Commandments to the children of Israel for the sake of legalism. It was to guide them in knowing what is right or wrong.

If you sin, how does that affect God? Even if you sin again and again, what effect will it have on him? If you are good, is this some great gift to him? What could you possibly give him? No, your sins affect only people like yourself, and your good deeds also affect only humans. Job 35:6-8

How we relate with one another says more about who we are than who we say we are.

Do not love the world

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. I John 2:15 (NLT)

Love the people but not their evil deeds. Loving people is not an excuse to indulge in sin or evil practices. If God says its wrong then it os of the world, do not indulge in it.

Love is the Greatest and it never ends

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13

We continue to be in relationship with the Father as children of God even in eternity. We continue to enjoy a loving relationship with God. Our faith in God reveals our love for Him and vice versa. We have hope that the one who loves us will never leave us alone. Hence we continue to love Him and show our love for Him by our love for other people.

Try this fun exercise, read I Corinthians 13:4-7, replace love with your name and check how you measure up. We are all work in progress in His hands. The mirror of God’s word reminds us who we are what we need to do to look even more beautiful in God’s eyes.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. I Corinthians 13: 4-7 (NLT)

We need genuine love, only found in Jesus Christ to live our best life now and for eternity.

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