What are the considerations of love?



Question: “What considerations of love are needed to excel in loving God and our fellow man?  How does love draw us closer to God?”



Bible Answers

…for God is Love (1 John 4:7). To have a relationship with God and others, we need to operate in Godly love.


Loving God

and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19).  We can know the love of God that surpasses our knowledge.


How can we love God? We love him, because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).  He demonstrated His great love for us by sending His only Son to take our sins upon himself and die the death that we should have died.


We are commanded, Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world (1 John 2:15), but rather, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37).


You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods (Deuteronomy 5:8-9).  An idol is anything we put ahead of God.  An idol may be work, computer, entertainment, golf, sports, house maintenance, riding, and yes, even family.  These are not bad, as long as they do not become more important than God.


God’s Agape Love

Agape love is an unconditional giving of oneself for another with no strings attached.  Agape is a one-sided Love because it doesn't have to be returned in order to be kept alive. In other words, it's not, "I will love you, if you love me." Rather, it is, "I will love you, no matter what."


In loving God, we learn to love others.

He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and, Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27).  


In time, our human selfish love becomes more like God’s Agape Love.


In loving God, we learn to put Him first in our lives.

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:26).  God is not saying that we are to hate our family, but that in comparison, the love of God needs to be greater. When we are given a choice between pleasing our family and pleasing God, we need to always placed God first. When we put God first, He takes care of the rest.


No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money (Matthew 6:24).  Keep your minds fixed on the things above, not on the things on the earth (Col. 3:2).


In loving God, we learn to trust God to be the Lord of our lives.  If you love me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15).


In loving God, we learn to give our problems to God and to live a life of peace and joy.  May the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace as I trust in him (Romans 15:13).


What does loving God mean

Our love of God grows as we learn from His Word who God is. As our love of God grows, so does our desire to worship and praise Him. Jesus answered, “It is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only” (Luke 4:8).


We are commanded to love God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:30).  If we obey this commandment, then we won’t allow other things to become the most important thing in our lives.


God first

This is what the Lord says: “What fault did your ancestors find in me, that they strayed so far from me?  They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves (Jeremiah 2:5).


When we do not love God as we should, when we demote Him to a lesser position in our life, we are sinning against God. Your sins have made a separation between you and your God (Isaiah 59:2).


How do we know that our love of God is first

God loves us more than we can imagine, but how do we know that we love God more than others? We exhibit our love for God through obedience to God. By obeying God when our family, friend, and personal desires say don’t do what God commands. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments (John 14:15). We need to ask, is there any area in my life where I am being disobedient? No one ever said that being obedient to God is always easy, but the reward of operating in God’s love is more than worth the effort. Whatever God asks you to do, He will give you the ability to do it.


When we truly love God, we want to please Him and obey Him. Jesus tells us, If you love me you will obey what I command” (John 14:15, 23; 15:10; 1 John 5:3).


Man’s Love

Human love is not the same as God's Love. Our natural, human love is a conditional love that is dependent upon how we feel, what our circumstances are, and how the other person responds to us. Human love is a need satisfying love. The objective is to love like God’s Agape love.


However, Satan uses many ways to try to block the revelation of God's love. One of the most subtle and deadly deceptions Satan uses is to deceive us into thinking that God's love for us is tied to our performance.  We think we have to do something to earn God's love. That is not what the Bible teaches. God's love for us is unconditional. God loves us because …God is love (1 John 4:8), not because we are lovely.  


Lessons in Love from the Prodigal Son

While the prodigal son, who had squandered his inheritance, was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming and was filled with love. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. Even as the son was making his confession, the father interrupted to instruct the servants to kill the fatted calf and prepare for a celebration -- his lost son had repented; he had changed his mind and returned home to again be part of the family (Luke 15:11-32).


This story makes it obvious that God (The Father) eagerly awaits our return to the Christian family and fellowship. Even when we are disobedient, he continues to love us, waiting for us to respond to His love and forgiveness.


God's Love Reaches Beyond Circumstances

…neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39). Death can't, and life can't. The angels won't, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. While we may turn away from God, His love for us continues.  He continues to love both those going to heaven and those who reject Jesus and are going to hell.


You Are Commanded to Love

A certain lawyer asked Jesus, Sir, which is the most important command in the laws of Moses?  Jesus replied, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: 'Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.' All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them.  Keep only these and you will find that you are obeying all the others’” (Matthew 22:36-40).


God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us (Romans 5:5). By meditating on the attributes of God and the wonderful things He has and is doing for us, we find our love for Him growing. Click for who God is.


Loving God Helps Us Love Others and Ourselves

It is much easier to love your neighbors and yourself if you love God with all your heart, soul and mind.  We can better love God if we realize that God’s love for us is beyond our complete comprehension.  


If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? (1 John 3:17).  Let us stop just saying we love people, rather let us show our love by our actions. One of Jesus’ greatest desires is that we love others as He loves us.


Love neighbor

As a Christian you should love your neighbor because your neighbor is a creation of God, made in His image; loved by God, and who Christ died for. You should devote your life to helping others experience His love and forgiveness. Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31).


Love enemies

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matthew 5:44).  In that way you will be acting as true sons of your heavenly Father. For he gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.


Love self

God loves us so much that He sent His son to die for us. We are His children. The Father holds us in His arms. When we start to see ourselves as the Father sees us, cleansed, forgiven, righteous in Christ, we will be able to better love ourselves. Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31). We need to get our eyes off ourselves and on to Jesus. As we stop looking to others for approval and start look to Christ, our self-image will greatly improve. Click for who am I.


Why Is God's Love so Important

We were created not only to receive God's Love for ourselves, but also to pass it on to others. Without learning "how" to do this, our lives will always be empty and meaningless, no matter what we do or how we try.  If I … do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. … and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-2).


Agape is the only love that can make us whole, give our lives the meaning and purpose that we are all seeking. In other words, it's the "glue" that ties everything together and makes everything possible. Without it, truly we are nothing!


You Cannot Love in Your Own Strength

Those who are in the realm of the flesh [worldly] cannot please God (Romans 8:8).  It is not possible to love others with God’s kind of love in our own strength.


As we surrender to the Lord, we grow in Him and His love will so fill us that it starts to overflow to others. Our natural pride, haughtiness, selfishness, rudeness, and demanding ways will be replaced with His love and care for others.


You Can Love With God's Love

As we draw closer to God, we experience more and more of His love in our life and His love goes forth to touch others.


God’s love was demonstrated in the life of Jesus, in His love, character, teaching, life, death, and resurrection. Jesus is the perfect model to follow.  Jesus’ life is a picture of God’s love. Click for who Jesus is.


God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).  As you learn to be guided by the Holy Spirit, His love will be manifested in your life.  May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you (1 Thes. 3:12).


You Love By Faith

Faith is the basis of the Christian life. You received Christ by faith, you walk in the gifts of the Holy Spirit by faith, you pray and believe by faith, and you love by faith


Hebrews 11:6 says, without faith it is impossible to please Him. It is hard to walk in God’s love if we do not have the faith to believe that we can walk in His love.


My command is this: “Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12).  God always enables us to do what God commands us to do. He has filled us with His love so that we may love others. We can claim God’s promise of loving others by faith.


A Prayer

“Father, In Jesus name, I know from your Word that it is your will that I would live in your Agape love and share your Agape love with others. By faith, Lord, I claim your Agape love to be active in my life. Amen.”  


When you begin to practice loving by faith, you will find that problems of tension with other will often miraculously be cured. We can claim 1 Peter 5:7, Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. As you realize that God is present with you, you will begin to notice how it affects your life and the lives of people around you.  


Your can change your family, church, and even your city by prayer and love. Mankind is hungry for someone to show them concern and Godly love. You can be that someone.


Loving the Unlovable

What about those who are unlikable, difficult, or rub you the wrong way? Make a list of people you do not care for and begin to love them by faith. Agape love is an act of the will, not just an emotion. You love by faith. By faith, you can claim God's love step by step, and person by person. In Jesus’ name, bless them with patients, love, joy, peace, and the desire to be friendly and help others.


Summary

When you begin to truly love God by faith with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbors as yourself (Mark 12:30), you will see your fellowman as God sees them - as individuals of great worth, as those for whom Christ died.


In Paul’s great love for his fellowman, he said, Everywhere we go we talk about Christ to all who will listen (Colossians 1:28).  This is the Great Commission. This is God’s great desire, His heart, and His love.  



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