Since today is Valentine's Day, and because I am still jet-lagged from my return trip from Israel, I thought I would repost something I wrote in June 2017 on love. Happy Valentine's Day!
The word "love" appears in almost every book of the Bible. Love is one of the central themes of the New Testament. It is because God loves us that He has given us the gift of salvation through Jesus (John 3:16). God is love and, in order to know God, we must have love (1 John 4:8). We must love God (Deuteronomy 6:5), we must love our brothers and sisters in Christ (John 13:35), we must love our neighbors (Mark 12:31), and we must even love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). And, our love must be genuine (Romans 12:9). Genuine love can be demonstrated by truly forgiving one another and not bringing up past sins (1 Peter 4:8).
If we could speak the language of every nation on earth and could even speak the language of angels, we could communicate pretty well. But, without having love, that would be meaningless. It would serve no purpose in our lives. All we would be doing is making a lot of noise (1 Corinthians 13:1). If we had the ability to predict the future, possessed knowledge of all things, and even had faith strong enough to move a mountain, we might be considered great in the eyes of the world. But, if we possessed these things but did not have love, we would be nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2). And, if we gave up all that we own and even gave up our own lives, but did not have love, we would gain nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3).
Love is important in the lives of believers. The love that we show, the kind of love that God wants us to show, should be filled with patience and kindness. It should not be jealous, prideful, arrogant, rude, irritable, or resentful. It is a love that is selfless, looking out for others rather than having our own way. This kind of love does not delight in evil, but rather in the truth. The love that God wants us to show is characterized by unshakable faith and hope and is able to endure through anything. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
Now, as believers, as followers of Christ, there are some things that we should not love. We should not love money, but should be content with what we have (Hebrews 13:5). We should not love the world or the things in the world. If we love the world, then God's love is not in us. The things of the world, desires of the flesh, desires of the eyes, and pride, will all pass away along with the world. But, those of us who love God and do His will abide in Him forever (1 John 2:15-17). The love that God wants us to show to Him and to each other is a love that never ends (1 Corinthians 4:8).