Love… a beautiful word in any language. What does it bring to mind: affection, care, warmth, kindness, understanding, security, and mother? But think for yourself, what does this beautiful word really mean? Do you want to be loved? Do you love?
God is love and his love abiding in your heart can help you love and be loved. The source of all love is God. 1 John 4:16 reads, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” No one will ever be truly successful in finding or experiencing love unless he seeks it in and through God.
Some of the opposites of love are hatred, mistrust, selfishness, and war. We need only look at many of the conditions prevailing in the world and in many families to understand that there is a desperate need for love.
How about you? Do you feel you are loved? Do you feel an ache in your heart, a loneliness that will not go away because you feel no affection, no warmth? Do you at times feel that no one really cares? Have you grown up with parents who did not really love each other or their children? These feelings are common in today’s world where the prevailing attitude seems to be me first. An aching heart is the result of an individual indulging in his own selfish interests.
Love is not a sensual attraction that seeks to gratify its own passion, often at the expense of the other person. This attraction, which some may call love, is selfishness because it seeks its own enjoyment. Love does not promote one’s own honor or pleasure.
The difficult things that life brings us are not an indication that God does not love us. God at times allows us to experience difficulty for our good. A parent with true love does not always give a child what he wants, but rather restrains him for the child’s benefit.
Love is self-sacrificing. True love seeks the good of others. Love is warm, sympathetic, kind. If we really love, we will care for the present and future well-being of those near to us. A loving husband and father will display his affection for his wife and children. He will gladly give and sacrifice of himself to provide an atmosphere of love and well-being. A wife and mother who truly loves will respect her husband and will instill in her children a sense of respect and love for their parents and for each other. She will gladly provide a haven of security and tranquility for all in the family. Christ exemplified love by his undeserved death on the cross.
If you feel the need of love—if there is an emptiness in your heart—you can find true love. You can find this by giving yourself to God. God loves you with a tender, caring compassion that knows no bounds. He cares for you and wants to share and help you through all the heartaches of life. If you feel alone and think that no one really cares, you can rest assured that the One who gave his Son for you does feel all your heartache and grief. In your loneliest hours and your most dismal days, He will be there to give you comfort, strength, and direction if you turn to Him.
If you do not know how to reach God, just pour out your heart to Him and He will hear. If you feel you can hardly trust anyone, not even God, tell Him so. Then ask Him to show you the way.
If you feel you are a sinner without hope of ever finding forgiveness and love, come to God with all your heart, repenting of and leaving your past sins. He will be your loving Father if you come to Him with all your heart and are willing to obey in all that He asks of you.
When God forgives and accepts you, you will feel his love and gain a relationship with Him that nothing can take away. This relationship will only be broken if we turn away from Him.
As you come to know the love of God and lose your love of self, you will find security. The security of knowing you are loved opens your heart to really care about others. You will no longer be so concerned about how people treat you. You will find that you are concerned about the needs of your fellowmen and that you have a keen desire to be of service to the God who loves you. When your affections are turned away from self, God will bless you and open your mind to many truths. The teaching in 1 Corinthians 13 will help you understand this.
When we give ourselves to God, we become a part of his family. ”Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1) One way to identify others that are a part of this family is by their love for each other. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). This is genuine love… love that cares, shares, and corrects.
If you want to know more about love, read the Gospel of John. Read Isaiah 53, where the prophet tells of the sacrifice Jesus would make for us. Read the promises in Psalm 91. Read Psalm 23. Let God lead you as you continue reading.
There can be an end to your loneliness and unhappiness. Let God take control of your life. Experience God’s love, one of the greatest blessings available to man. May God bless you.
In the following verses, charity means love.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity