What is love?

Sunday 19th August we had our fist Q&A Sunday. Our pastor Maicon held a preaching on one of the questions that someone put in the suggestion box. The question was: “What is love? Is it a decision or a feeling? And how do we experience God´s love for us?

Often “love” is talked about either as a feeling or as a decision. Maicon showed us this Sunday that Biblical love is neither feelings nor a decision, even though it will engage both our feelings and decisions.

Biblical love is:
1. Sacrifice
2. Obedience to the Word of God

Love as sacrifice

Love is purposeful action even until sacrifice for the other. Yes even toward our enemies. We see the perfect sacrificial love in the way Jesus came and gave his life for us. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (Joh 15,13)

We need to be careful not to buy into the idea that love is all about receiving (good feelings). It is about giving.

Love as obedience

If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father´s commands and remain in his love (John 15,10)

Notice here that Jesus does NOT say “I love you if you obey”.

We love because he first loved us (1.John 4,19). He loved us when he still knew that we would be disobedient and unloving. He did not love us because we had deserved his love. In fact it is his love that makes it possible for us to love!

“The message” says it this way:
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. (1.John 4,7.10)

We can put it this way: If you obey God, you will understand what God cares for, and who God is. This will cause you to love him. You will see how beautiful his ways are.

So how can I get a hold of God´s love for me?
How can I experience this love?

  1. By loving and obeying we understand to a greater degree who God is, and therefore God´s love for us. Its something that we can gradually learn although we won´t be perfect before the end of this age.
  2. We can also grasp his love for us by understanding our identity in Christ.