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The Heart of the Matter: What Love Is

Andy Holt
October 29, 2017

The Heart of the Matter: What Love Is

What is love? In the English language, we have a single word to cover a wide spectrum of meaning. You love your kids. You love your spouse. You love God. You love a sports team, a band, or an artist. All of these loves are different in important ways. You don’t love your kids the same way that you love your spouse. And if you love anything the same way that you love God, that thing is an idol! So how are we supposed to know what love is?

John tells us in 1 John 3:16. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” There is no greater love than laying down your life for someone. The cross gives us ultimate clarity about the nature of love. We know what love is because we see God’s love for us displayed so clearly in Christ’s crucifixion. All loves find their truest meaning in the cross of Jesus Christ. You will feel many things in this life, but love that is true conforms to the love of God. Love is not mere feeling or emotion; love is willful, self-denying action.

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