The Importance Of Love
In John 14:34 & 35, we read the words of Jesus: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
In view of the words Jesus spoke, we must be sure that we emphasize both the necessity of love and the meaning of love as taught in the Bible. Because of the many ways we use the English word “love,” its Bible meaning is often lost. It’s meaning in the passage above is associated not so much with feelings and emotions as it is attitude. Love means good will and the demonstration of it in unselfish desire to seek the best interests of others.
The Bible kind of love is essential for several reasons. First, God commanded it. To love all people, even our enemies, is not a choice we have, but a command of God. Remember, God has not commanded that we feel a certain way, but that we have a certain attitude (one of good will) and act accordingly.
The second reason love is essential is because it is part of the divine nature. 1 John 4:8 teaches that love is part of the essence of God. It says, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Therefore, if we are of God, we must be characterized by the same kind of love He has shown toward us. 1 John 4:10-11 says, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
The third reason love is essential is because it brings peace. Every facet of life is much more calm if we are able to maintain the disposition of unselfish love. We have the contentment of doing the right thing for others, not because we expect to get something in return, but because Jesus would have done the same. We are at peace because love gives us the ability to forgive others, and when we forgive, we no longer have anger and bitterness in our hearts towards them.
Let us love one another because love is of God.
By Tom Sutherland
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