Love is such a big industry in our country. We sing about love. We write about love. We make movies about love. We like to create gifts for love. It’s such a powerful force, and yet so many people instead of feeling loved, feel other emotions. Rejection, abandonment, betrayal, hurt, suicide, and depression. Why? Because they haven’t experienced love the way it was meant to be felt.
In some cases, some have experienced a perverted kind of love. Emotional, verbal, physical and sexual abuse can distort our understanding of love. A bad relationship where someone was controlling, manipulative, and deceiving can make us believe in lies about love. Those experiences of “love” can make us think that is what love looks like but what it is not.
What is real love? Romans 8: 31-39 can help us here.
Real love is for you (vs 31). Paul says if God is for you who can be against you? There are so many things in life that come against us. People, situations, the evil one Satan, but God is for you. God is for your marriage, kids, health, and life. Real love doesn’t come against you, it’s for you. That’s what we have in God.
Real love gives up everything for the other person (vs 32). Paul says that God gave up his Son, sparingly and graciously. God did not hold anything back. In life, people will not give up everything for you. Sadly, you will have to deal with people who won’t make time for you, they are too “busy”, and won’t help you in your time of need. But our God gave up EVERYTHING for us. He bled on the cross for us, he bruised his body for us and died for us. Remember this real love gives.
Real love does not condemn (vs 33). Paul says God does not condemn you so why do you condemn yourself? Why do you hold onto the wrong things you have done? Why are you holding the sins of others against you? Why are people throwing darts at you? That’s what Satan wants to do in our life. He wants you to remember everything you did wrong and to feel constant guilt and shame, but Jesus died for those things. The past is the past so it’s time to move on with your life. Get the degree, get married, buy a house, exercise, and do what God is asking you to do. You are not condemned, you are forgiven.
Real love does not increase or decrease because of life and what you do (vs 35-36) . When you are sick, if you have sinned, when you lose something in life, when life changes, no matter what happens in life .. God will still love you. His love is not dependent on us, but him. That’s what makes God’s love so pure and unconditional. He just loves us and that is amazing news. Unlike people who will drop you when you get sick, lose your job, divorce you, or leave you, God’s love is always there.
Real love makes us a conqueror (vs 37). That’s the reason you are surviving and thriving in life, because of love. The Bible says we are conquerors in Christ. We find strength, hope, and life in Christ, not in people or things and because of this we will get through the messy relationship, the sickness, the depression, the discouragement. Whatever it is we will get through it because of God’s love.
Now that you know what real love is do you now see that you are loved? And that the greatest love is found in God?
Real love is for you.
Real love gives.
Real love does not condemn.
Real love is always present.
Real love makes you thrive.
You have real love in Jesus Christ. Don’t waste another moment thinking you are not loved. You are! Now it’s time to live your life. Be free in Christ, and be all that he calls you to be.