“Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us,” 1 John 3:1
Today, love is a BIG topic! Everyone wants to talk about how we need more love in this world. I agree with that, to a certain extent, but love and acceptance are not the same thing. I do not have to agree with you, or accept everything you believe, to love you. Nevertheless, the Bible commands us to love each other. “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) So what is love?
I think we could categorize love in two different ways: Human, or natural, love and supernatural, or divine, love. What’s the difference in these types of love?
Man’s love is unstable. In John 18, Peter drew his sword to defend Jesus, and then shortly afterwards stood outside the door and denied that he was a disciple. Peter’s display of love for Jesus wavered depending on his circumstances, which is often the case in fleshly love.
Man’s love is undependable. Peter, in John 13, told Jesus that he was willing to go with Jesus all the way to Calvary. But when Jesus got to Calvary, we find Peter had followed a far-off, denied he knew Christ three times, and even cussed one of the times he denied Him. The reality of human love is that often our words and promises are not matched by our actions and choices.
Man’s love is uncertain. In Luke 17 Jesus heals ten lepers. You will find that only one of them came back to say thank you. It’s easy to judge the nine lepers for not being thankful for what the Lord had done in their lives, but how many times have we treated Jesus exactly the same? Our love and gratitude waver so easily because of our sinful flesh.
Human love will never be perfect because humans will never be perfect. Our flesh is sinful, and therefore bound to failure.
“Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” John 13:1
His love is an everlasting love. “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:” (Jeremiah 31:3) While man’s love is unstable, and changes based on our circumstances, God’s love remains unchanging despite the circumstances. His love will never come to an end. It will never cease. It will continue for an endless duration. Our human minds cannot comprehend eternity, but it is for eternity that God’s love will sustain.
His love is effective. “We love him, because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) Our natural wicked hearts do not naturally love God, however we are able to love Him because He first loved us! God loved us and sent His son to the earth to die for us. Jesus, the Son of God, loved us in that He died, rose again, ascended back to Heaven, and sent the Holy Spirit to love us and draw us to God. Now that we are saved, we love Him only because He loved us first! God’s love causes an effective change in the hearts of those who are saved.
His love is an extensive love. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Is there any person, under any condition or circumstance, who is not loved by God? The answer is NO! There is no limit to the love of God! His extensive love is gracefully given to every single person, despite their sin and their failures.
Why does God love us? Despite our unstable, undependable, and uncertain love for Him, why does he show us an everlasting, effective, and extensive love? This will surely be the wonder of wonders throughout all eternity. But thank God that He does love us, and He gave His son to die to save us. Because of Jesus Christ, and His ultimate act of love on the cross, we can experience the love of God, a love beyond our human ability and comprehension