“What the world needs now is love, sweet love. That is one thing that there is just too little of…” went the words to a sixties hit song. I know I can use all the love I can get. But what is the nature of real love? So many in the world offer their love today in order to get something back. There are many an unwed mother who can attest to that. None of us want to be used, when all we want is to be loved.
Apostle Paul wrote about the nature of REAL love, the love of God in 1 Corinthians 13 and many of us can recited it by heart. It is often even read at weddings. Here he is talking about love unfeigned and without hypocrisy… unselfish love that only God can give. God so loved the world that He GAVE. That is what love does, it gives and gives and gives even when it gets nothing in return.
But what did God’s love give to the world? He sent His love in the form of His only Son, knowing full well that most of the world’s population would not receive Him or His love. We who are humans are such a sad lot and without Christ we are only waxing worse in our selfish and hateful ways. The good news is that if we will but yield to the love of God in His Son, we can be changed. We can be given a NEW heart that is filled with His love as well and be found to be instruments of that love to the world through Christ who lives within us.
But is love, God? Is love to be something separate from God and to become a god in His place? I think you know the answer. Yet, many well meaning people so elevate love that you hardly hear about the instrument of His love for the world, Jesus Christ. You cannot have real love without abiding IN the Son of God. In the economy of God, apart from Him we can do nothing. Our love without Christ in us is nothing and at best self seeking.
T. Austin-Sparks in his book, “The Great Transition from One Humanity to Another” wrote,
… here we come back again to the place of the Holy Spirit in the Letters to the Corinthians, especially the First Letter. As we look through the letter, what is the full, ultimate, supreme function of the Holy Spirit?—“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, …though I give all my goods to the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, I have nothing.” The supreme work of the Holy Spirit is the Character of Jesus Christ, not love as a thing. You can put on love as a thing. You can put that on, and it can be a pretension, a way of behaving and speaking. Beloved, people can come and put their hand on your shoulder and be treacherous behind your back by pointing out your faults to someone else. It must be “unfeigned love” the apostle says. “Unfeigned, unhypocritical, love of the brethren”: it is the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (Joh 3:16-17 KJ2000)
“Lord Jesus, open our hearts completely to you and your love. Amen”