Love might just be the most talked about thing when it comes to Christianity. Probably because there are about 600 times love is mentioned in the Bible. So then it begs the question. What is love? We typically reference the typical 1 Corinthians 13 verse that says, “Love is patient, love is kind…” Although these virtues perfectly describe love, they also perfectly describe something else or rather someone else. God. Most of us know John 3:16, but I also love 1 John 3:16. It says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. So to start maybe the better question is not what love looks like, but rather how do we love. And I have this theory that the trick is to try less. If you try to love, it’s only forced kindness. This verse explains that the way we start to love is because of the realization of God’s love for us. It’s not by forcing a smile that everyone knows is fake. It’s not by holding anger in a cell inside your heart in an effort to be patient. It’s not gonna happen by trying so hard. It will happen when we realize that God died for us, he loves us and it’s out of that realization that the passion to love others is born. Everything else will be fake, because it will be out of human strength.
God wants us to show a love to the world that is not bound by our human limitations. He wants to show a love to the world that is an unlimited, unfailing, unending love that comes straight from his pocket. And 1 John 4:7 shows us how this is done. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and Knows God.” You were born again because of the love from God. You were born from love. See, people who don’t know God can show kindness, but to show God’s kind of love, we have to be born again. We have to begin to live our lives on the fact that God died for us to forgive us, to love, us, and to cleanse us. If we want to love more, the trick is not to try more. It will come by spending more time with the the one who is love. He is the one who has the unfailing supply.
This is where love will become natural. When you spend more time with God, his love will overwhelm your heart and overflow into your life. You’ll catch yourself using words to benefit others and not to harm them. You’ll catch yourself opening up your home to others, giving to the needy. One day you’ll find that when arguments happen you aren’t sorry for yourself, but you cry for the other person because they don’t know God. You’ll catch yourself thinking of others more and less of yourself. One day you’ll catch yourself forgiving others when they don’t deserve a thing from you.
This isn’t to say that love isn’t hard. But when it doesn’t come naturally, we go to the father to bring in the supernatural love. Jesus loved people nonstop, but when it came to dying for all of mankind and taking all the weight, sins, and burdens of millions of souls, it wasn’t his first instinct to jump right in. He even asked God if he didn’t have to do it. But what he says after in this prayer is amazing. “Not my will but yours be done.” In Luke 22 it says that after that “an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.” I’ve read through this passage so many times and yet I missed that verse. When we submit to God and when we have impossible people to love in front of us, HE will strengthen us. So stop trying, and start trusting him to be the one to give you strength. Love comes from God. He will send you the strength straight from heaven. It all starts with realizing it’s not us. We can’t do it. But Jesus did. And the same love that pushed through the grave is now available to us.