What Does It Mean For Us to Love?
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:6-8 NIV).
One of my heroes was Dr. E.V. Hill, pastor of the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. He was a tremendous man of God and an intellectual giant. He was also a man of integrity who was not afraid to call it as he saw it. Because of the many times in his ministry he called out injustice in inner-city L.A., he faced constant death threats.
After something he said one Sunday morning, there was a threat that he was going to be bombed during the next week, and he took it very seriously. One day that week he came home and noticed his car wasn’t there. He immediately thought that either somebody had stolen it or someone was tampering with it and planting a bomb in it. He sat down on his front steps, deeply worried. About 30 minutes later, his wife, who was well aware of the threat, drove up in that very same car.
“What are you doing?” he yelled, frightened that she had taken such a risk. She said, “I got to thinking. This community needs you more than it needs me. If they were going to rig that car to be bombed, I wanted me to be in it, not you.” Dr. Hill later said, “I always knew that my wife loved me. But then I finally understood what love was all about.”
Dr. and Mrs. Hill knew that love is not something you feel. Love is not something you say. Love is something you do.
Notice all the action steps in today’s Scripture. Love rejoices, protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. These are things that you do. Love doesn’t just talk or offer lip service. Love makes a choice every day to do for others what God has done for us.
You don’t have to wonder what it means to love. God showed us clearly what love does, and then he gave us the greatest example of love when he gave us Jesus.
Talk It Over
What people in your life are easiest to love? What people are hardest for you to love?
What is one way you can love more like Jesus?
It’s difficult to “always” do something, because we also still sin. Why do you think the Bible describes love as “always” doing the actions listed in 1 Corinthians 13:6-8?
This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.