Love Is An Action
Pastor John C. Berg
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
This is your daily devotion for March 30th. Today we begin a new series. We will look at the times Jesus used the word love in the Bible. Of course, the Bible talks about love extensively and often does so without using the actual word love. We’re focusing on those occasions when Jesus himself spoke the word “love.” It may be the most important word in the Bible. It defines our relationship with God and with each other. It is the purpose of the church and the motivation for our actions.
Let’s begin with the most famous time when Jesus spoke the word “love.” In John 3 he said to Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. One of the reasons I want to spend a few days talking about love is because I think our culture has so obscured or misused the word that it’s almost lost its meaning. Love is equated with sex. Love is spoken of as if it’s just a feeling or something you fall in and out of. Perhaps the most recent reinterpretation of love is this idea that love is being accepting of all behavior of all people.
In just one verse Jesus efficiently redirects us and defines what love really is. What Jesus is talking about is the most important love there is-God’s love for us. Lest we misunderstand or misapply Jesus defines who the “us” is. God so loved the world. None of us can remove ourselves from that word. The world includes you. It is a fact that God loves you.
This means so much more than God having warm and fuzzy feelings for you. It doesn’t mean that God accepts all our behavior or at least ignores it. It means that he sent his only-begotten Son because our behavior required it. The Biblical definition of love is doing what is best for someone else, no matter the personal cost. What was best for you and me was for God to sacrifice his only-begotten Son so that we could escape the eternal consequences of our behavior. Love is an action. God loves you no less than he did on the day his Son died for you. So be prepared! Be ready to observe the loving acts of God in your life.
Let’s pray: God Almighty, help us to see your love in our lives as clearly as we see it on the cross. Amen.