Gather • Devotion 6

What is Love?
William Kinney

“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Galatians 1:14

We all desire love in all sorts of ways. Some are good, and some are bad. However, how do we define love? The world defines love as a feeling that can be gained or lost dependent on particular situations. They expect to love only when love is reciprocated. I sure am glad God’s Word does not define love that way!

From the beginning of the Bible, we see God’s love for humanity. Genesis chapter 3 lays out the history of how Satan deceived Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve broke the one commandment given to them, they were ashamed of being naked, covered themselves with fig leaves, and hid from God. Is it not peculiar that we do the same thing? When we sin, we get ashamed, try to cover up our sins ourselves and hide our sins from God. Even though Adam and Eve acted this way, God showed love to them. We see this love in the form of shed blood and sacrifice in Genesis 3:21 (NIV). This passage states, “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” This means that God had to sacrifice an animal and shed its blood (a picture of Jesus Christ on the Cross) for Adam and Eve to be forgiven. This passage defines love!

Love is sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears rolled up into one package and delivered to someone else. So, when Paul wrote to the church in Galatia that the whole law is fulfilled in loving your neighbor as yourself, he means to make sacrifices for each other, even and especially when they wrong you. Paul was not talking about animal sacrifices here. Genuinely loving people require sacrifices of our time, finances, emotions, and self. Loving people this way brings glory to God, and that is how the whole law is fulfilled. When we genuinely love people, we genuinely love God. So let us all take a stand to start living counter-culturally, not love with our fleeting feelings, but unconditionally love each other by serving and making sacrifices for everyone we meet and know. Show the world what true love is!

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