What is The Real Meaning of Christian Love?
Christian love is to give…
What would be the ultimate act of love? – probably laying down your life for someone. In the image above we see exactly this – the giving of oneself unconditionally to others, as Jesus did for us. But giving love without a need is meaningless. So God created beings that need love, and that could partake in the giving of love which is ultimately what fulfills. In this giving and receiving, we end up with broadly two types of love that most people are familiar with.
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1) Love given unconditionally can be called gift-love -also called Divine love as it most closely resembles love Himself (God) An example would be the unconditional sacrifice of Christ. Gift loves are the most godly. Giving, joyful, energetic, patient, willing to forgive, desiring the good of the beloved. All these are images of divine life. Our model of gift love displayed by Jesus is not only at Calvary, but in the workshop, the crowds, the demands and oppositions, lack of peace and privacy and constant interruptions.
2) Loves that arises out of a need to be loved can be called need-loves. – also called natural loves because they are earthly -not Divine. Interestingly the dictionary definition gives us predominantly descriptions of need-love. Examples would be affection, friendship. These nouns denote feelings of warm personal attachment that are often reciprocated. Need love might be called selfish but no-one ever said a child was selfish for craving its mother’s love or an adult for the affection of a friend. Since we do in reality need each other – this love is perfectly acceptable. It’s our need that brings us to God!
Love is a Paradox…
It’s apparently God’s decided law of the universe that fulfillment is to be found in giving – not receiving (despite what society says these days!). If we only receive, eventually we begin to feel empty! To add to this upsidedownness of logic, all the power of the universe is said to be held in the words we say! – words have the power to hurt or heal – not the things one normally associates with power. God allows us to share in the giving of love, breathing life into others using our words and actions. (Man does not live on bread alone, but from every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God).
Does God need love?
The giver of all things does not need love, but delights in loves reciprocation!
Summary on Christian Love
Need love says of a woman, I cannot live without her. Gift love says ” I long to give her happiness, comfort, protection and if possible wealth. Appreciative love is silent and rejoices that such a wonder should exist. As with many things of an infinite God, the loves blend into one another with seamless continuity. It’s hard to see where affection becomes friendship and so on.
What The Bible Says on Love
“For God so loved the world he gave his only son”
Our understanding of love really has become a mess! It’s hardly surprising looking at the stuff the media churns out, which portray love as a kind of fun pastime. It seems that love nowadays is confined to emotions and feelings rather than commitment and honesty. Actually it’s all these things.
We are commanded to love one another, I John 2:7-8, TLB.
“Dear brothers, I am not writing out a new rule for you to obey, for it is an old always new, and works for you just as it did for Christ; and as we obey this commandment, to love one another, the darkness in our lives disappears and the new light of life in Christ shines in.”
“Love is very patient and kind, never jealous,envious, boastful or proud, never haughty, selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It’s not irritable. It does not hold grudges and will hardly notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices when truth wins out.
God’s love is sacrificial, John 3:16, NIV.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
God’s love lasts forever, Psalm 136:1, NIV.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.”
love your enemies! ‘Love your friends and hate your enemies’ But I say: Love your enemies! “Pray for those who persecute you!”
God’s law is summed up in love, Matthew 22:37-40, NIV.
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Love for God is shown by keeping His commandments, I John 5:3, NRSV.
“For the love of God is this, that we obey His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”
Don’t let your love for God weaken, Revelation 2:4-5, TLB.
‘Yet there is one thing wrong; you don’t love me as at first! Think about those times of your first love (how different now!) and turn back to me again and work as you did before.
Nothing can separate us from the love of God, Romans 8:38-39, NIV.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Christian Love help & advice at christian advice online 2014