1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 14:1 says, “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”
The Bible says to follow after love, pursue it, and make it your highest aim. It’s the only thing we’ll take out of this life into eternity. We will take the love that Christ has imparted into our lives by the Holy Spirit. Love is the only thing that has eternal value.
When we say, “We love our car, or I love ice cream,” it’s not the same love as a husband says to the wife. That kind of love, between husband and wife, is “Eros,” which means sexual attraction or sexual love. The book of Song of Solomon, is about sexual love and God has restricted that kind of love to a marriage relationship between a man and a woman.
Another kind of love is called “storge,” which is a natural bond of affection in a family relationship.
Then there is “phileo” which comes from the root word “philia.” This word is used about seventy-two times in the New Testament and means a warm feeling of affection that comes and goes in intensity. “I fall in love,” “I fall out of love.” If a marriage is built on that kind of love, then there will be times when that love is high, and when it’s low.
However, the Bible says we are to love one another with the God kind of love – Agape” love.
1 Corinthians Chapter 13, gives the definition of what love involves. and then 1 John 5:3 says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” And Matthew 7:12 says, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law of the Prophets.”
In other words: Whatever you would want others to do to you, do to them. How do you want to be treated? Treat others the same. This will go against our flesh at times, and will go against us seeking our own benefit first. I don’t think this can be done without the help of God’s Holy Spirit. The Bible says the fruit of the Spirit is love, and God is love. He is the source of love and the One who will show us how to love through His commandments. He’s the One who will give us strength, even in spite of our flesh, to make the right choices and decisions and act on the right principles.
We are not to love in words only, but also with our actions. If you want to have a love that has true feelings in your life, practice “agape” love. Seek the welfare and benefit of others regardless of how you feel at first, and you will be rewarded beyond measure.
Jesus Christ was and is the greatest expression of love that ever came on the face of the earth, yet as far as the recordings of the Bible, He never said, “I love you.” Isn’t that amazing? Because love is more than a word.
Suppose a husband tells his wife, “I love you,” and then goes out and commits adultery. She wouldn’t think much of those words, would she? But if that husband doesn’t tell her he loves her but provides for her, and is faithful till the day he dies, she’ll know he loves her by his actions. 90% of truly loving another is nonverbal. It’s not in the things one says, it’s what they do.
1 John 3:18 says, “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and truth.”
Matthew 25:35, 36 says, “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; (Verse 36) ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “
Then in verse 40 He says, “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ “
Matthew 22:37 – “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Verse 39) “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “
The Bible and Jesus teachings, show us that we have opportunities to love Christ in practical ways, by loving others. Love is kind, love seeks the welfare of others – just like Jesus sought our welfare when He went to the cross! Treat others right and they will know you belong to Christ and you won’t have to tell them that you are a Christian.