Transformational Truths

Is Your Definition of Love the Same as God’s?

Love had to send. God determined man had to die because of sin. God determined love had to send his Son to die in our place. (The Master Plan of Evangelism)

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

God defines love as “laying down his life for those He calls close companions.”

God so loved (layed down his life for those He calls close companions) the world that he gave (had to send) his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him (trusts Jesus is God’s payment for his sin) should not perish but have everlasting life (the same life the Son of God had with God). John 3:16

Love is the practice of laying down life, also called the surrender of life. Another way to think about love is putting one person on the altar in the place of another.

When we “surrender” something it means we “give it up”. If we surrender our weapons – we give them up. In other words, they are no longer under our control. They are under the control of the one we surrendered them to.

I John 4 tells us we love (surrender our life for) God because He first loved (surrendered His life for) us. It describes the love of God in this way, “God loved (surrendered His life for) us and gave (surrendered) His Son as the propitiation (payment) for our sin.”

We have a first-hand experience of the great love of God for us. We hear and believe that He surrendered His own life in the Person of Christ Jesus on our behalf.

What is your definition of love? Does it match God’s definition. God declares Himself in His Word to be “love”. It is found in 1 John 4. God’s definition of love is the surrender of life – putting Himself on the altar to die in the place of another.

In Matthew 22, Jesus declared the first and most supreme commandment as this – “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. . . And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Jesus is telling us here based on God’s definition of love. Surrender yourself to God to be your master. Enable him to take over your inner being, your total personality, and all your thoughts. In addition, put yourself on the altar (to die) in the place of those who are in need. Do love this way because everything declared in the rules of God and those who proclaim God’s truth tell you this is the way it should be done.

God’s work of salvation is self-surrender (love).

There is a clause “as yourself” in the second commandment. Some define that we should love ourself before we are able to be equipped to love others. In God’s definition of love, we should self-surrender ourselves before we can surrender ourselves to others.

How does your definition of “love” line up with God’s definition? Are there any reinforcements you need to apply in your definition? Are there any corrections that are needed?

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)

Written By: Anne Gurley

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