Apr 3, 2018

Why Biblical Love is Everything

A year ago, I thought God taught me something.  The truth is, He did.  And the problem?  I'm still learning it.

It was back during last April.  I looked at my life and realized that I was doing a lot of things for God, but I wasn't doing them with God.  Ever since then, I've been in a constant struggle where I often forget and fall back into the same patterns.  I write - for God.  I live - for God.  I read the Bible - for God.  But what's the point if I'm doing it out of obligation instead of love?

You can read the post here.  Or you could continue as I readjust my view slightly.

Those who are true Believers in Christ understand this verse from Titus,

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.
- Titus 3:4-5

We can't do anything to be saved by Jesus.  It's all because of His mercy, His kindness, His love.  Jesus saved us, period.  But that doesn't mean we can throw up our hands and stop there.  We should be doing good.  (read verse 8)  But those good works we do are in response to His saving grace - because we simply can't help it.

Let's look at it from a different viewpoint.  A few weeks ago, I gave a handmade gift to a friend.  I didn't want anything in return; I gave it because I wanted to show my love for her.  But that friend chose to give me a gift when she came home from a trip.  She didn't have to, but she did it anyway.

God gave us the ultimate gift (2 Corinthians 9:15).  That's what Easter is all about, isn't it?  Read one of the Gospels, and you'll discover the most beautiful love story - a Savior who gave His life to deliver and transform you into someone who could tell His story.

But we often get stuck.  We understand that Story.  We "invite" Jesus into our heart.  But the relationship stops there.

The true value of love is something we just forget.

I try so hard to live a life for Jesus.  I want to spread His story, so I do it on my own.  I want others to have hope, so I try to give them a piece of mine.  But nothing will happen if I miss the point.

You know this passage already.  But do you live it?

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
- 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

 Dear friend, what's life if you don't love?  What's ministry, serving, encouragement, if you don't do it out of love?

I can write the best books, the best blog posts, the best emails, but if I don't truly have love for the person at the other end, does it really matter?

Or what if we consider John's words?

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
- 1 John 4:8

If God is love, can't we read 1 Corinthians 13 and put His name in the text?

If we speak and write the most beautiful, elegant words apart from God, we're just meaningless noise.  If we're smart or wise or gifted or if we are more spiritual than anyone else but we don't have God, we are nothing.  If we are the most sacrificial, generous people but don't have God, it profits us nothing.  (my paraphrase)

Are we living lives that matter?  Or are we gaining no true profit?

We can't attain our salvation.  And we can't make a difference in the world on our own.  But we can seek to discover more of God and embrace love so we can give it away to others.

Let's stop saying we love others and actually do it.

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren... My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
- 1 John 3:16, 18

God's given us the opportunity to love.  But to do that, it starts with our relationship with God.  Do we love Him?  Do we keep His commandments (1 John 5:2)?  Do we seek Him with all our heart, all our soul, and all our strength (Deuteronomy 6:5)?

Let's not be meaningless noise.  Let's love.

But how?  How are you going to step out and love others radically, my friend?  How are you going to seek Jesus more?  Let's talk together below!

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
- 1 John 4:7


  1. So true! In Revelation 2:1-7 Jesus is telling John what to write to the church of Ephesus. First he lists good things about them but then in verse 4 he says they abandoned their first love. The church was doing all these good things... but they left the Love they once had for Jesus. While this might not be directly the case for us then at times we do things for Jesus... but without love it doesn’t mean anything. It’s simply an obligation, not a heart felt desire.
    I find it hard to seek Jesus with all of my heart because at times I feel the lack of the ability to do so. I love Him... I just struggle at times with giving all of me to Him, living for and with Him with my all. He doesn’t leave us on our own, He enables us. I try to spend time in His Word and In prayer daily... and we should just seek to see Him in the day to day routine of life.
    Thanks for sharing this, Hosanna! Great post! :)

    1. That passage is so fitting, Sarah! We can do all the right things and still miss the point if we're not doing them out of love. Really, it should all be about the joy of our salvation - that truth causes us to love God and others because we're so overflowing with gratitude! Works alone lack power.

      I believe in ourselves we can't discover perfect love, and yet God tells us we can have it. Maybe that's because it comes from Him - a gift. It's so easy for us to get distracted by the world (other priorities, schedules, relationships), but He should be our first love. How hard, yet how satisfying.

      I wish I had this perfect love, but it's something we can continue to seek for. =) I like what you said: we should seek to see Jesus in the day to day routine of life. He's there!

  2. Yes to this post! Your paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13 really got my attention. Thank you <3! And thank you for sharing what you are learning. Sometimes we want to hide it until the lesson is complete, but it's so much better to come right alongside others with honesty!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Bri! It's eye opening when we read 1 Corinthians 13 that way, because it gives us a glimpse into Who God is: God is patient. God is kind. He does not envy. And so much more!

      If I waited to share a lessons until it was complete, I would never post anything. =) That's how we learn, right? Sisters in Christ sharing mutual encouragement and prayers. I'm thankful for you. =)

  3. Mm, your posts are always so thought provoking. I relate to your experience of knowing love but not necessarily living it. I was listening to a sermon this evening, and the speaker was sharing an experience where he was witnessing to a person of entirely different views. In that moment, he didn't know what to say so he kept focusing on how much God loved this person, and the Holy Spirit took over and directed his speech, and it was a good conversation. Your post just reminded me of that - our job is to love others and submit to the Holy Spirit's direction, and that's when Love Himself can take over.

    Also, putting God instead of the word love into 1 Corinthians 13 was really powerful. I might have to go through and read the whole chapter like that. Thanks, Hosanna! May God bless you on this journey of living love. xx

    1. That's a wonderful example of love in action, Jessica! If we truly knew how much God loved the people around us, would we treat them differently? We can't find love for them in and of ourselves; as you said, it's all about submission and letting Jesus take over our hearts.

      Jess, you've been a great encouragement to me in the area of loving others - thank you! I fail in this way more than I'd like to admit, but you reminded me of the truth. It's all about Jesus. It's all for Him, through Him, with Him. If we have Jesus in us, how could we not love others? I'm praying for you as you press on towards His perfect calling, my friend. ♥


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