Love Redefined

The world has transformed love into nothing more than an emotional response. What does the Bible define love as?

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

The world has transformed love into nothing more than a currency we exchange for things we want or need. Someone gives us something and we repay them by transferring to them some emotional currency in the form of the words, “I love you”.

When we view love through this lens it forces us to withhold love from anyone who doesn’t currently benefit us. It also makes us question the love of others when they stop supplying us with the things we want from them.

This view of love is not only wrong but dangerous. It destroys relationships and often keeps people from experiencing true intimacy with anyone.

Ever since the fall of man we have been in a deficit of love. Love has become a universal need and few ever find the universal source.

But it wasn’t always this way, in Genesis, we see that God created us in His image and part of His image is love. We were created to be an abundant supply of love, not desperate seekers of it.

Fortunately, there is a way back to this supply and we find that way when we find true love. A Love we find only in and through the word.

Love Redefined

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

Love is seen

“See what great love…”

As we begin to redefine what love is by the word, we need understand that above all love is something to be seen. Until we see this love, how do we ever expect anyone else to see it in us?

This great love truly is something to be seen. We are called to not love with words or speech but with action and in truth. This love reflects the love of our Father for us.

God didn’t just stand at a far and tell us how much he loves us, he took action and sent His one and only son into the world to redeem us.

Love is Unconditional and Sacrificial

“what great love the father has lavished on us…”

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” 1 John 4:9

This a love unlike any other, a love never before seen in this world. God sent his only begotten son to die so that we may live through him.

The Greek word for love here is agapē, a new word for a new kind of love.

J.I. Packer said this about the word agapē in his book, “Your Father Loves You”,

“The Greek word agapē (love) seems to have been virtually a Christian invention — a new word for a new thing. Agapē draws its meaning directly from the revelation of God in Christ. It is not a form of natural affection, however, intense, but a supernatural fruit of the Spirit. It is a matter of will rather than feeling. It is the basic element in Christ-likeness.”

This love is truly something to behold, it’s like the world has never known, and it transforms who we are.

The word “lavished” or “bestowed” is this idea of one-sided giving instead of a return for something earned. The most beautiful aspect of this great love is the fact that the Father lavished it upon us. Lowly, broken, sinners. This is a love that comes by grace, a love none of us deserve.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Love Calls Us His Own

“that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

Not only does this love rescue us from our sin but it calls us His own. God could have easily just had pity on us and saved us from our sins, but he went even further and brought us into His family.

This just demonstrates the awesome fullness of this great love that He has for us. That He would call us His children.

This isn’t just a cute word picture that John uses here to make his point about the love God has for us. God, Himself has called us His children:

  • The Father – “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18
  • The Son – “In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.” Hebrews 2:10-11
  • The Holy Spirit – “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:16

Looking back at the garden, we see the beauty of man and God living together and walking together. Man in God’s image, the fullness of love.

God’s redemptive plan is not only to restore what was in the garden, yet what we have to look forward to far exceeds what Adam and Eve experienced. Adam and Eve were never called children of God, not the way the Father calls us His children.

One day we will walk with our Father and experience the fullness of that love once again.

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” John 1:12

This true love is available to all who receive Him! We need to spread this good news to the world. That God sent his one and only son into the world to die to bring us life! A life lavished in the love of God.

“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.” John 3:16

This is love redefined, its not just emotion and affection, it’s not just a currency we trade for things we desire. It comes only from the Father, not because of anything we do but purely because of His grace and will.

This is a love that is seen, a love that is sacrificial and unconditional, a love that calls us His own! We are the children of God and we need to let our light shine and put this love on display for all to see!

Hey Friends! I am Nick Lincoln a co-founder here at Abide and Seek. Besides writing articles to spread the light of Jesus throughout the world, I also enjoy playing music, working out, and spending quality time with my family and friends! My prayer is that by sharing my experiences and the struggles I have faced before coming to Christ, the world can see the life-changing power of a life lived in the light of Jesus Christ!

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