The word appears over 300 times in the Bible. Love is essential to the character of God. His love cannot be limited by anything in this world or beyond. It can overcome anything, and it endures forever. It is out of love that God created the world, and out of love that He redeemed us through His son. As Christians, God calls us to love others as He first loved us.
As we approach the time of year where many people will give special gifts and attention in the name of love, we invite you to reflect on what the Bible tells us about love.
Christ’s Sacrifice: the Ultimate Act of Love
It is out of love that Christ died for us, so that we might live. He was willing to make the greatest sacrifice of all, taking our sins upon His shoulders. True love is selfless, willing to make sacrifices for the good of others rather than seeking personal interest. As the ultimate act of selflessness, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was the ultimate act of love.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.
Romans 5:8 – But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
1 John 3:16-18 – We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
God Calls Us to Love
The greatest command for Christians is to love God, but our call to love does not end there. Just as God loves us, He calls us to love others. Love is not simply a feeling or a word; true love is demonstrated through action.
Deuteronomy 6:5 – Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength.
John 15:12-13 – This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
1 John 4:7 – Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Luke 6:35 – But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
God’s Promise of Love
God’s love to us is boundless; it is perfect, complete, without end, and without equal. It is His enduring promise to us.
Psalm 86:15 – But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Isaiah 54:10 – Though the mountains fall away
and the hills be shaken,
My love shall never fall away from you
nor my covenant of peace be shaken,
says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
Psalm 136:26 – O give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his steadfast love endures forever.