Michael Youssef's Devotional: Know the Truth About Love
By Michael Youssef - Leading The Way On February 14, 2014
Our culture is full of false interpretations of love. Day by day, true love is being buried under an avalanche of selfishness and confusion.
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Many people view love as a warm affection or desire. There are times when love can produce warm affection and desire, but these can also be selfish feelings. When the feelings fade, those who view love this way move onto the next warm embrace. In contrast, biblical love is selfless. True love is more about giving than receiving. True love is about sacrifice. True love casts aside pride and self-conceit.
In John 13:34-35, Jesus commands us to love one another: "A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." What is the distinguishing mark that sets us apart? It is if we love one another. Jesus is saying that self-sacrificing love will be the supreme trademark of His disciples.
In Romans 5:5, Paul writes,"God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given to us." You see, we don't manufacture love-we only share what we have been given. You cannot manufacture self-giving love. You cannot produce it no matter how hard you might try. You can only share that which God has already poured into your heart.
Some try to express the depth of their love by saying, "Well, I would die for you." You know what's harder than dying for someone, it is dying to self. It is much harder to live for Jesus than to die. It's much harder to die to your ideas, to your opinions, and to your way.
This month, as the topic of love is top of mind, consider where you stand in your love for Christ and others. You may have tried to practice sacrificial love on your own and failed. However, you can submit yourself to the Lord today and invite Him to love others through you. Keep asking Him daily and watch as He pours true love for others into your heart.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for giving Your life in the ultimate act of love for me. Help me to abide in Your love, that I may love You in return and pour Your love out to others.
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).