What is Love?

by Louis Sacran

God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16b)

As we prepare to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the subject of love will be on a lot of people’s minds. The stores are filled with heart-shaped candies, cards and balloons to help us express our love and affection to someone special.

With the myriad of options we have to express our love, I think it’s worth asking ourselves: what exactly is love? When we look to the Bible, particularly at a passage like 1 John 4:16b, we discover that love is not simply a gesture or an expression, but love is a person.

God is love. Love is not simply something that God does, but it is what he is. In order to illustrate this reality, let’s think about a phrase that we’ve all probably thought and said: “I’m only human.” What comes to mind when you read that phrase? Do you picture a man or woman who has completed a great accomplishment or willingly endured a great sacrifice? Probably not.

We use this phrase to acknowledge and even justify the imperfections of our thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. It’s like saying, “Do you really expect me to be perfect?” Being human is not what we do, it is who we are. If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve come to realize that to be human is to be imperfect.

So, what does it mean for God to be God? It means that God is perfect love. Ephesians 2:4 speaks of the great love with which God loves his people. He expresses his love by being unnecessarily kind (merciful). Love is the motivating influence behind God’s kindness to His people.

God uses His people to show love to others. We are thankful to the many volunteers of Spreading Sunshine who help show God’s love to families whose child face medical challenges.

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