Let’s begin the week by aiming high, with a perplexing question that has captivated many including the greatest minds in history.
Here it is: What is love?
We can certainly define love by looking up Webster's dictionary definitions such as this one.
Love- “a deep and tender feeling of affection for or attachment or devotion to a person or persons” I think we all know that love is much larger and more profound than these words.
The feelings we felt when we first fell in love were far more impacting. It’s a difficult word to define for several reasons. Number one is that love is the most powerful force known to man. Words are simply not completely adequate to fully capture its essence. The second reason is that our culture has grossly overused the word love to encompass everything from the commitment of a 50 year marriage to feelings about our favorite foods or sports teams. No one feels the same affection or attachment to their wife as they do pizza or the Steelers, but we often use the same word, don’t we? A third reason love is difficult to define is the elusive way we love different things and in different ways. We have to seriously reconsider our definition of love and take into account what and how we actually do love.
One indicator of what you love is simple. What do you like to talk about? What
has captured your affections and devotion to a point where you have a great need to talk about it. What has captured your heart? What we love and how we love was a primary concern for Jesus, therefore it should be a primary concern for both you and me. We must be much more aware of what has captured our hearts. What do we talk about? What do we think about? What do we love? Jesus is so intent on seeing that we love well that he gave to us very specific words on who we are to love; it's called “The Great Commandment” and it is the ultimate message to all of mankind on how to love well and how to live well. When asked which is the greatest commandment in the law, Jesus replied:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all
your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it:
"Love your neighbor as yourself”– Matthew 22:36-40.
Jesus is the eternal incarnation of God’s love. He who embodies love is telling us how to love, so that fact alone should grab our strict attention. You will notice that there is an order and sequence to Jesus’ words. He tells us to love God first and foremost and then we are to love others as we love ourselves. This is a love in the proper, God designed, order, for we will never learn to love well and live well by simply working it up in our own hearts, but only by having more of Christ and his love in our hearts and lives.
Before moving on to the portion of the devotional that calls you to reflect on Scripture and questions, please take a moment to pray that God, the author of love, will open your heart and mind to His vast and extravagant love and teach you a more expansive way to live and love by loving Him.
A Verse for Reflection:
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” - 1 John 4:7-11
Questions for Consideration:
1. What is it that you most enjoy talking about?
2. How often do you think about Jesus and His presence in your life?
3. What or who do you trust?