What do candy, flowers and hearts have in common? If you guessed, Valentine’s Day you would be correct!! Someone, somewhere decided that these items would symbolize love. But what is love really?
In the first four of its 15 definitions of love, Dictionary.com says this about love: profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person; a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend; sexual passion or desire; a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
Did you find one there that fits your definition of love? In what ways do these compare with your definition of love?
The greatest definition of love comes from God Himself! In Romans 5:8, Paul says “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Prior to this verse, verses 6 and 7 have this to say: You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God …
Do you see the significance of the … But God statement? While we couldn’t, wouldn’t do anything for ourselves completely without hope, but God!
Have you ever thought about this? Would you die for someone you did not know? Would you die for someone who was a different color, had red hair instead of brown, or green eyes instead of blue, was richer or poorer than you, had a better education or less education?
The only truly perfect being in the world, who was without sin of any kind, looked down on this little planet He created and was filled with love and compassion for its occupants. Occupants who were dirty, sinful, evil in every way! He chose to give His one and only precious Son to live here among us, to become like us, so that He might die for us, bringing eternal life to you and me.
Paul, later in Romans, reminds us about the uniqueness of this love when he said in Romans 8:35-39,
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 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.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that we are loved? Most of us have been loved by parents, siblings, spouses, children, grandchildren, friends and others throughout our lives. Sometimes the love was more taking than giving. Other times it was more giving than taking. The unconditional love of God is always perfect in all ways in that it never changes. He won’t love you or me any more or less tomorrow than He does today regardless of what we do or say. Aren’t you grateful for that?
As a leader, you will only be able to lead effectively when you abide daily in God’s unconditional love. It’s hard to love others unconditionally when your love is struggling. Take just a moment and consider God’s love for you as outlined in Romans 5 above. Nothing can separate us from His love. Nothing we experience, do, don’t do, say, don’t say, will keep us from His love.
Will He be disappointed with us? Yes, from time to time but as we mature in our faith in Him and His unconditional love for us, we will choose righteousness more times than not. What a great God who knew what we needed and then provided it for us.
No one, but God!
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