If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
– 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Did you know that the word “love” appears over 300 times in the Bible? Love is central to the character of God – and the story of the world, from the creation of mankind, to God’s redemption of humanity through Christ’s sacrifice. It is no wonder, then, that the Scriptures are filled with praise for his enduring love – and that God repeatedly calls us to love one another throughout his Word. During this season when special gifts and attention are given in the name of love, take a few moments today to reflect on its biblical definition.
Nothing Can Separate Us from God’s Love
God’s love cannot be limited by anything in the world or beyond. It can overcome anything, and it endures forever:
Romans 8:37-39 – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Psalm 100:5 – For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Jeremiah 31:3 – …I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Christ’s Sacrifice: the Ultimate Manifestation of God’s Love
The ultimate manifestation of God’s love was when he sent his Son to earth, he made the ultimate sacrifice – laying down his life, so that we might live forever with him. The Scriptures tell us:
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.
1 John 4:9-10 – In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.
John 15:13 – No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
God’s Love as Our Example
As God loves us, he also calls us to love others:
Romans 5:5 – And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.
1 John 4:19-21 – We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Ephesians 4:1-5 – I then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism…
May the Holy Spirit fill your heart and enable you to love with a love that “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, [and] endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)