Stick with Love
Bible Studies for Life
Regardless of the romantic comedies that dominate the movie box office and the never-ending stream of love songs that fill the airwaves, love seems elusive for many. Marriage licenses are followed by too many divorce proceedings. Spouses and children are battered, being assured by the violent offender, “I love you so much.”
Writing in Bible Studies for Life, Like Glue, Ben Mandrell says, “Are you disappointed in the way your relationships are turning out? Are you sick and tired of watching people walk out of your life? Do you long to go deeper with those around you? If so, look closely at the words of Jesus as He explained the dynamics of love.”
The Bible and Love
The Bible has an enormous amount to say about the subject of love. One of the most well known verses speaks of God’s love for the world (John 3:16). Believers are reminded a lack of love is evidence of not knowing God at all (1 John 4:8). Followers of Jesus are commanded to love each other because “love is of God” (1 John 4:7). Love in so integral to the Christian life it is called a fruit of the Holy Spirit’s work (Galatians 5:22).
Meeting the Forces of Hate
Through the course of our lives we have plenty of opportunities to choose hate over love. Marriages fall apart. Adult children forget their parents. Co-workers cheat to get a promotion. A spouse or child is killed by a drunk driver. The fallenness of this world provides many opportunities to exchange hate for love. Martin Luther King, Jr. recognized the burden of hate when he said, “We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.”1
Sticking With Love
Jesus said, “You have heard it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”2 Jesus wants us to stick with love.
How are we to love others? We are to love others as we love ourselves. How can we do that? We can do that when we love the Lord with everything we are: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”3 The moral imperative to love others follows the command to love God. Love for God makes love for others possible.
Love for those around us is evidence of God’s love in us. God’s love in us makes it possible–we might even say inevitable–that we will love others. It’s what God does, so it should be what His children do, too.
Mandrell says, “Jesus was not nebulous or vague about His command to love. He directed us to love people in the specific way He loved. How did Jesus show His love? He gave. He forgave. He pardoned. He was gracious, kind, merciful, sacrificial, and intentional.”4
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, HCSB). “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8, HCSB)
This love is the love God has for us, and gives to us. This is the love God wants us to have for others. It is better to stick with love.
2– Matthew 5:43 (HCSB)
3– Matthew 22:37, 38
4– Bible Studies for Life, Like Glue, Ben Mandrell
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