Living Free - April 21, 2014

Living Free Every Day®

What Is Love?

Today's Scripture

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.’ - (Matthew 22:37-39 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

What is love? 

Most people think of love as an emotion, but the Bible teaches that love is not only an emotion . . . it's so much more. Love is a command. In fact, in today's scripture, Jesus tells us that loving the Lord is the first and greatest commandment. And that loving your neighbor as yourself is equally important.

Since love is a command, it is an act of the will, a choice. And that choice leads to action. It determines how we respond to God. It determines how we interact with people.

So love is an emotion . . . a choice . . . and an action. 

Consider this …

We can best understand what love is by learning from God's example. Actually, God is love (1 John 4:8). When we look at him, we see love.

And his love for us led him to action. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16 NIV).

And as we follow Jesus, we can sense his love surrounding us, helping us, guiding us, encouraging us every day. "Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand" (Isaiah 41:10 NLT).

Will his love ever leave us? No. It is unconditional.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NLT)


Father, thank you that we can learn what love is by looking at you. Thank you for loving me even when I am unlovable. Thank you for showing your love to me in countless ways every day. Thank you for giving your Son so I can be forgiven and live. Help me learn to love you . . . and others . . . with your kind of love. In Jesus' name . . .

These thoughts were drawn from …

Authentic Living in an Artificial World by Dr. Mike Chapman. This 45-minute group study gives understanding about what it means to be real. The facilitator's guide includes reproducible group member study sheets and an audio CD designed to help facilitators prepare for each session. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.



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Originally published April 21, 2014.