Sometime ago, Tina Turner came out with a song called "What's Love Got to do With It?". One of the lines said, "Love is nothing but a second hand emotion". I beg to differ. Love is powerful, but not just powerful but POWER! Matthew 14:14 states, "And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick." Jesus, being moved with compassion or love for the people healed the sick. Another scripture, Mark 6:34 says, "And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things." Again, being moved with compassion or love, Jesus began to teach. The love Jesus had was so deep He had to heal and teach. Love moved Him into action!
I know many people who say they love you with the love of the Lord but yet have no idea what it means to love with the love of the Lord! They have no idea how to love that deeply, so deeply that it causes them to move into action. Love is a decision. That's right, we make the decision to love, we choose to love or not love!
Love is further defined in 1 John 3:16-18. "16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth."
I know very few people who would lay down their lives for others. It may not even mean literally lay down our lives. We could just set aside our own needs or desires to help someone else achieve their desires. But look at what it says in verse 17, "But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?" If you see a brother or sister in need and you have the means or the "world's goods" to meet those needs and yet, you refuse to help or you "shut up your heart", how can the love of God abide in you? We say we love but we do not express that love in word or deed. We live in a selfish time when it is me first. We are self-centered rather than God centered. We go to God asking Him to meet our needs, to bless us, to increase us. When was the last time you asked God to give you the means by which to bless someone else, someone in need?
Love is a verb, an action word. It requires action of some sort. Love must also be pure. Let's take a look at 1 Corinthians 13.
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
2 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, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
So, let's see. Love is long suffering and is kind. Please note, love is also the first Fruit of the Spirit along with longsuffering and kindness. Love is not envious . do you envy anyone for something they have or for who they are? Love does not parade itself and is not puffed up. Are you self-centered and think more highly of yourself that you ought? Love does not behave rudely, is not self-seeking, is not provoked and does not think evil of others. Love does not rejoice when a brother or sister falls. Do we help restore them to their rightful place in the Lord? Love rejoices in truth . in other words, when someone is lied about or spoken evil of when the truth comes out we are to rejoice that the truth came forward. How many times have we been caught up in gossip and wanting to believe the worst about someone and then, when the truth becomes known and we find out the rumor was false, we get mad and upset . not because of the lie but because of the truth! We want to believe we were right about the evil we were thinking about someone else.
So, let's move on. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love will bear up its brother, believes the best, hopes against hope, and endures all things. Do we help bear up our brothers and sisters when we know they need help? Do we believe the best of people or the worst? Do we stick beside each other and endure without complaining? Love never fails. Verse 11 says when I was a child I thought like a child. If you, being a mature Christian, are not truly walking in love, you must still be a child in the spirit because the first fruit of the Holy Spirit is Love! It does take time to develop a true love walk but if we are not moving in that direction, we are still immature. He who walks in the Spirit will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. This means if we walk in the Spirit, we will not think the worst of people, we will be moved into action with compassion, we will find ways to help those in need whether spiritual or otherwise.
Faith works by love. Galatians 5:6. If we want our faith to work, we must walk in love. Ephesians 3:17 states, that if Christ dwells in your hearts through faith, we are to be rooted and grounded in love. Going back to 1 Corinthians 13, if we have not love we are nothing. We can have knowledge, wisdom, function in Spiritual Gifts but if we do not have love, we will not even have faith enough to move mountains! In verse 13, we see that out of faith, hope and love, the greatest is love. 1 Corinthians 14 says to pursue love as God is love. Also, in 1 Corinthians 12:31, just before going into Chapter 13, Paul says, ". . . And yet I show you a more excellent way." Love is a more excellent way.