“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8).
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13).
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).
“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22).
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 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. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7).
Above are just some examples of the plethora of verses regarding love found in the Bible. Biblical love is something we should all embrace and live because Jesus loved us, and gave His life for us on the cross for our sins, so if we believe in His life and resurrection we can spend eternity with Him in heaven.
I will admit before I was saved I didn’t love as the Bible says to love. I have always had love for my family, friends and life but not in the sense of what the Bible says. I lived life for myself, my selfish ways, always looking out for number one: me. I wasn’t patient, I wasn’t necessarily kind, and I had bitterness in my heart for all the wrongs done to me (by what I thought was punishment from God). I felt like I was a toy that He played with to make my life miserable for His own pleasure of watching me struggle.
I used to live completely in the world and fell for the temptations of the world. I did what I felt like doing regardless of the consequences. I partied, I slept around, and I didn’t love others. I looked out for myself only and fulfilled my own desires of pleasure without a second thought to the plight I was heading for: hell.
Only once I was saved did I realize how I hurt others, myself and how much I let God down by my actions, words, and the life that I had led from my teenage years until I was saved. Did I mature in my life, as I got older? Yes, but I was still reckless in my younger years and did all the wrong things (I thought were right for me and no one else). I was on the wide path to destruction and I didn’t know it and didn’t care at the time.
Once I found Jesus, once I was saved and began my walk with Him I realized how bad a life I had lived and thanked God that I made it to salvation before it was too late for me. Only as I delved into the Word and walked along with Jesus did I realize what love truly is and what it means for me, others and for my salvation. I realized how I used to live was not in love but in selfishness fulfilling my own desires without a second thought to the repercussions. How many people did I hurt? How did my selfishness affect the lives of others? How bad of a person was I, really?
If I met some of the people I hurt and affected negatively they would not recognize me, and they would say I am a different person. Why? Because I have the love of Jesus in me now and I try to emulate that love to the best of my ability. Do I fail sometimes? Of course I do. I’m not perfect. I’m not holier than thou, and mostly I am a human in a fallen world full of sin. Yet I strive to live for love and portray that love to others in the way that Jesus wants me to.
For me, it’s about attitude and demeanor. If I keep love and compassion in the forefront of my mind, I emulate the love of Jesus to others and myself, reminding myself that it is my duty to love myself, love others, and most important, to love Jesus. If I keep that attitude of love at the forefront of my mind, I’m a happier person and feel good and closer to the Lord. When I slip, when I fail to love, when I get angry or frustrated I feel guilty. I feel separated from God and I do my best to make amends and pray for forgiveness.
What about you? How is your love attitude? Do you just love and think about yourself and not others? Do you look out for number one (you) or do you look out for others and show love toward others? At first I found this hard to do—in the beginning of my walk with Jesus. It was not an automatic instant change in attitude. It took work and time through prayer, reading and taking to heart the words in the Bible about love and caring for others. As time passed and I learned more about love, I began working on my love attitude toward others. I failed a lot at first, but now, even though I still slip sometimes, I can say that I show love toward others a majority of the time. I urge you to emulate the love of Christ to others.
It’s a great feeling to have the love of Jesus in your heart. Looking back on my walk and my life before knowing Jesus, I can’t believe the amount of love there is from Jesus; it is never ending and fulfills me more each day in my walk with Him. I have a compassion for people I never had before, and a love for others I never imagined I could have before I was saved. Retrospect gives us 20/20 vision of our past and I can testify that the love I had before Christ was an empty love, not nearly as full of love as I now feel in my heart and soul.
Jesus makes love complete, for He is love and all He has for us is compassion and love. He wants us to love others as He has loved us. To emulate that love in our life to reflect His love for others to show compassion, empathy, sympathy, and the care for others that can’t be offered or shown without the love of Christ in our hearts. To deny Christ’s love is to deny God’s perfect love for us and separates us from the Lord.
If you don’t love as Christ loved you, what are you doing with your life? You need to question your standing with the Lord and ask yourself what you are really doing. Are you emulating the love of Christ in your life to others? Are you showing and feeling overwhelming love for others that hurts your heart when they are in trouble or need support? If you don’t, you need to reevaluate your attitude. This love should be toward believers in Christ and even more important, to unbelievers who don’t know Jesus.
By having love in your heart of that comes from Jesus, you can’t help but have love for others and concern for their eternity and well-being. Showing love isn’t going through the motions at church by helping with the food bank or kitchen to feed the poor, it is the attitude you have when helping others. If you feel compelled to help people out of motives other than love then you are wrong. If you go through the motions of church and your Christian life without the attitude of love at the forefront of your existence, then you are wrong. Reevaluate yourself and test yourself to see where you stand with love for others and your love for Jesus.
Having the love of Christ in your heart will truly change your life and who you are. If you have love in your heart, you know what I mean and what I’m talking about. Yet, if you don’t know the love of Christ in your heart, you’re missing out on a huge part of your walk with Christ. The love of Christ in your heart is so overwhelming it is hard to put into words. It is a feeling of great love and compassion. The love of Christ in your heart will fill you with an endless fountain of love and compassion for others—that will bring you to tears at times.
If you are saved and don’t have that feeling of the love of Christ in your heart, you need to pray for it. You also need to read the Bible to discover how Christ showed His love and compassion to others. Once you are filled with that love and it grows in your heart as you walk with Jesus, and study His ways in the Bible—you will not regret it. You will feel a real fullness of love that you haven’t experienced before, and a compassion and care for others that you have not had before. Your soul and heart will change and you will want more and more of that love every day. The love of Christ and His fullness in your heart is ever growing and you will want to seek more of it day by day.
When you have the love and compassion of Christ in your heart, you can’t help but love others as God loves you. You will radiate that love to others and people will see that love in you and the compassion you have for them. They will appreciate it and they will know you are a true Christian who has God’s love in your heart. This in itself can lead others to Christ for they will feel and see your love and compassion and will want it for themselves.
True love never fails. If you love you can’t ever go wrong with your actions and attitude toward yourself and others. If people still shun you, that’s okay, because with love you can look beyond that and still show them love by your words, actions, and attitudes. Have you ever met people who are bitter, who hate the world, hate people and just have a sour disposition? When you talk to them with love and compassion, sometimes it softens their heart. If you show them love and compassion in your interactions with them, they change, just a little bit, but enough to know what you stand for and what you radiate to others.
You never know when a bitter person’s heart will be softened by showing your love and compassion, which could eventually lead them to the Lord. We as Christians need to always strive to show the love of Christ toward others. Many Christians don’t, and it makes me question what their standing is with God. If you go to church or meet other Christians you can usually discern their true intentions and their love of God by their words and actions. There are a lot of bitter Christians out there that don’t emulate the love of Jesus. By their actions, they show the world that Christianity is not what Christianity is about.
Christianity is about love and compassion through Christ. By their negative words and bitterness some “Christians” show the world and others that they truly don’t have the love of Christ in their hearts and turn people off to find Jesus. By showing the love of Christ to others, people may want that love and want to know how and why you have it. Christians in the best of times and the hard times should always show the love of Christ through them so that others can see that we trust in the Lord and know that He is in control.
Many times when there is a crisis at home or work it can be easy to get angry or bitter. I’ve seen it at my workplace. When a crisis occurs, when a deadline isn’t met, people get angry with others and show bitterness in their hearts. I stay calm in my demeanor and actions for I have the love of Christ in my heart, and by showing them that love it usually calms the situation down. The bitterness dissolves and the anger goes away. How can someone be angry with me when I don’t fight back but rather show the love of Christ and encouragement through my words and actions? Love is very disarming to those that don’t have it.
If you want that kind of love, you need Jesus. If you want to be filled with love and compassion for others, you need Jesus in your life and in your heart. If you are a Christian and lack this love and compassion in your heart it is time to change that through honest and humble pray to Jesus. Get that Bible out and open the word to read about the love of Christ, not just on Sunday’s but every day.
If you are not a Christian and want this heart fulfilling love, you can have it. Pray to Jesus to forgive your sins and believe that He died for your sins and was resurrected. Ask Him to begin to work in your heart. Ask Him to give you compassion and love for others as He did for others. Get a Bible and start reading about the life of Jesus and you will begin to have a changed heart. Will this happen immediately? For some yes, for others it will take time as you walk and build your relationship with Christ.
Remember that the love of Jesus never fails. With love anything is possible and can overcome everything thrown your way. Have hope in the love of Jesus and have hope for compassion. Not only will you bless others with your love, you will be blessed by the love you have and give to others. Trust in the Lord to give you this love and the hope of eternal life and blessings.
All Scripture quoted is from the New International Version of the Bible.