Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

True Love

1 John 3:16

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHave you ever wondered what true love truly looked like?

True love is not infatuation. We’ve all felt that feeling – the feeling of being drawn to someone – maybe an attractive person – a very friendly person – a person that seemed to radiate confidence in a crowded room. Maybe it was a football player – a member of the softball team – and person in the chorus – a part of the club from the school you attended. We were drawn – as much by whom they were – whom they knew – how we felt around them – and of course – their looks!

For some of us – we dated a number of people – trying to find true love. Maybe we were in and out of love numerous times – having relationships fail for one reason or another. Some of us might have given up finding true love – even for a season of time – because we thought we would never find true love.

If you grew up a Christian or in a Christian home – we might have tried to find someone we could live out 1 Corinthians 13 with – and kept failing (them or us). 1 Corinthians 13:4–8a – 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 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. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

I have to admit – I tried to find true love in a person – a woman who would be my soul mate and love me and allow me to love her with 1 Corinthians 13 love. And – although I was blessed with a wonderful life partner – whom I love dearly and she loves me too – I came to realize that imperfect people can not love with a perfect or true love. Try as we might – we will fail. Try as we might – we are not always loveable. Try as we might – we do not forgive with a perfect forgiveness. Raise your hand if you understand what I mean!

God is the only one who can express true love. Oh – we can try to love and do a pretty good job of it too. I am not saying we should not look for love. What I am saying is true love is expressed by God and through God. 1 John 3:16 – This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  This is amazing love – that God would love us so!  It isn’t a love we deserve – but one God offers free of charge!

If we want to model true love – we must love with a sacrificial love. We must be willing to think of the other person before we think of ourselves. If we wish to model true love to our spouse – as best we can – we need to do so outside of the emotions of love – or the infatuation of love. Those are all well and good – but true love is a decision – a decision to value the other person above self. Only when we are willing to put the other person first – and to dedicate our lives – even giving up our lives if need be – can we begin to come close to true love.

Jesus even commands us to express this true love to others. John 15:12 – My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. That is the truly amazing thing about God’s love. I was trying to get us to understand it for that special person in our lives – our spouse. But God calls us to love each other with this type of love. That blows me away – and I realize how far the love I express to others needs to improve. Lord – allow me to show true love to others – and more so as each day goes by!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.


September 2, 2014 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , ,

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