“Love, Love, Love”
If one sets out to study love from a Biblical point of view, there are a number of good ways to go about it. Many would quickly suggest 1st Corinthians 13, the classic "Love Chapter" that so often is quoted in marriage ceremonies and certainly has incredible statements that describe the lasting character of true, devoted love. Another great passage is found in John 15:9 wherein Jesus uses the word "love" three different times. Jesus says, "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love." With these simple statements, the Son of God teaches us three very valuable lessons.
First, God the Father loved His Son. This is not only taught here but it's a constant theme throughout the scriptures. And not only was this love a spoken love, but Jesus Christ never doubted whether or not His Father cared about Him. Of course, the irony of all of this is that God the Father loved Jesus and yet gave Him up to die so that we could live. This proves even more the incredible character of our God and how much love is the central part of who He is and always will be.
Second, Jesus reminds His early followers (and each of us) that He loves us. Given everything we know about Jesus Christ, it's impossible NOT to believe this! Jesus Christ lived His life for others, never once putting His own desires before the needs of His fellow man. Jesus taught that there was no way to better way to illustrate one's love than to lay down his life for someone else (John 15:13). And the great thing about Jesus is that He not only spoke such powerful and beautiful words but that He lived them out. Throughout history, there have been occasions where one person sacrifices his life so that others can live. In times of war, we hear of great heroism where such things occur. But Jesus' sacrifice was and will always be far superior to any other made. The reason is that His love is superior to all others.
Finally, Jesus commands us to abide in His love. There are a number of ways to appreciate this statement. For example, Jesus wants us to learn from the way He loved. Additionally, Jesus wants us to maintain a relationship with Him that requires us loving Him and in doing so, being obedient to His commands. And, Jesus wants us to know how He loves us so that we can in turn know how we are to love each other. The relationship that we have with our brethren is tied to the relationship that we have our Savior. We cannot say that we love Him and then turn around and treat each other in ways that don't illustrate the love that saints have for fellow saints.
Jesus tells us a lot about love in this one verse. Let's work to put love into action and live in service to Him and each other.