Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
The Beatles weren’t far from mark when they declared, “All You Need Is Love.” The apostle Paul said practically the same thing in Romans 13:10, saying that “love is the fulfillment of the law.”
So, are YOU in love? That’s an important question, and not just in the days surrounding Valentine’s Day. If you’re married, I certainly hope you can say yes to this question, but I’m referring to a love that goes even beyond that—an “in love” state of mind that every follower of Jesus is supposed to experience, whether married or single.
So how can we go deeper than the world’s superficial concept of being “in love”—typically a phrase used just in the context of romantic or emotional love?
I decided to do a search on BibleGateway.com and found some fantastic “in love” passages. Here’s a small sample, including my observations about how the principles apply to our lives today:
(1 John 4:16).
(1 John 4:18).
(1 Thessalonians 3:12).
Of course, there are many other Bible passages about love. I even noticed this verse saying that “older men” (like me!) are supposed to be in love: “… (Titus 2:2).
So let me ask you again…
Are you in love? If you still aren’t sure how to answer, I encourage you to take the LOVE TEST in 1 Corinthians 13 (MSG paraphrase). From what we read in the book of Acts, walking “in love” doesn’t seem to have been easy for the apostle Paul. But he realized its importance nevertheless: “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love” (v. 3).
What an incredible statement: Without love, our lives are surely “bankrupt.”
Paul goes on to give us a very detailed description of love’s characteristics:
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies (vs. 4-8).
How did you do on this LOVE TEST? If you’re like me, you still fall short in many ways. But that’s another thing I like about the song from Brigadoon. Instead of saying we’ve fully mastered this thing called love, it only describes our experience as “almost” like being in love.
The LOVE TEST ends with Paul’s conclusion at the beginning of the next chapter: “Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does.” So true, Paul. So true.