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Love is the most important virtue in the world. We can understand this from God’s word: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Doesn’t that just amaze you? God sent His only son, who He loved so dearly, so that all people who are unworthy of mercy and grace, could experience the joys of eternal life. What was it that made Him make such a sacrifice? It was love!

It is so important to desire to love those around us, ourselves, and most importantly, the Lord. Living on God’s word is a powerful way to grow in love. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) This verse is clearly talking about the Bible, and if we should live on His word, we ought to understand what commands come from it.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38) We are commanded to love the Lord with all our hearts, even when it may seem like that may do nothing. Loving the Lord is keeping his commandments, praying, spreading the good news, and seeking Him more and more throughout our lives. Life may have trials and tribulations, but it has many more blessing that God wants us to experience. No matter what we do, He will always love us more than anyone ever can. His love for us is the source of our love for others. “We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)

In so many places, scattered throughout the word, we find that God commands us to love one another. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34) If we don’t love one another, nothing else matters.  “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have no love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have no love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have no love, I gain nothing.” ( 1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

Love is what makes us who we are meant to be. If we fail to love or decide that we don’t need to, then we end up being nothing. Loving others is not difficult at all, as long as we desire to do so. Prayer, respect, and kindness are just a few of the many ways to love the people around you. “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8) Our love must be genuine. What comes from our hearts, and what we speak is what determines love, not how much we give or receive physically.

Understanding what love is helps us to become more loving.  “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude… it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) We especially need to show love and preach forgiveness and redemption to those who need it the most. “Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14) For example, a homosexual; If you show them disgust and resentment, you’ve already lost a soul. If you love them, they will be able to see Christ through you. Or perhaps you meet a hungry, homeless person, you won’t tell them ‘I love you’ and walk away. What good would that do? The right thing to do would be to buy them a meal and do what is possible to help meet their needs. Act out your love. Just like Jesus would.  We need to desire to love others as Christ has loved us.

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