Love is the deliberate act of valuing someone more than you value yourself. Love is the deliberate act of caring for, and listening to others. Love is wanting others to succeed, to be happy and fulfilled.

God made us to love and to be loved. God loves us. Sometimes, we in the church don’t reflect God’s love as well as we should, but God is love.

Read from that last paragraph again, “God loves us”. Now, read that very first sentence “Love is the deliberate act of valuing someone more than you value yourself”. God continuously and deliberately values us more than himself.  God places us before him. The cross is the ultimate expression of that. God the son, Emmanuel meaning God with us, chose to die on a cross, to sacrifice himself, for each one of us.

Love between mother and son

Stop for a minute. Let that sink in. Not just the cross; not just the act; think about the reason behind it. God loves me and God loves you. He did not do this for Christians. There were no Christians yet. He did this for sinners. He did this for the World.

“For God so loved the World, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but will have eternal life.”

God calls us to worship him. What is worship? Is it not the deliberate act of valuing God more than yourself? Worship’s synonyms, listed in the Merriam Webster dictionary are : cherish, love, adore.

When God calls us to worship him, he is simply calling us to love him the way he loves us. Ours is a faith built on love. Love is the single most used word in the Bible and the instruction given more than all others.

What does the Bible say about Love?

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Matthew 5:43-48

Teaching about Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.
44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.

47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.

48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 & 13

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.