What Is Love?

What do you understand is the true meaning of love? There are many people in the world today who are totally confused on the question, and they often use the word 'love' when they should be using another four letter word: LUST.

Then there are others who know that lust is not love, but they think love is pity or compassion; or nothing more than a sentimental 'feeling'. Many books could be written on the subject, and indeed have been, but the Apostle Paul produced a masterpiece in one short chapter, chapter 13 of his First Letter to the Corinthians. With its great challenge, it is worth reading over and over.

But I would like to emphasize one particular aspect of love that rarely receives any attention.

Would you believe that true love could ever generate real anger?

When the mighty Moses came down from the mountain of the Lord, and saw Israel worshipping round the golden calf, his "anger became hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands, and broke them at the foot of the mountain. Then he took the calf which they had made, and burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and scattered it on the water, and made the children of Israel drink it" (Exodus 32:19, 20).

Moses was furious. Why? Because his heart was filled with love. He loved the Lord his God supremely; and he loved his brethren as himself. If we doubt this, we need only read on a few verses to see how he was even prepared to forfeit his eternal life if God would not forgive his brethren. "Yet now, if you will forgive their sin–but if not, I pray, blot me out of your book which you have written" (32:32-33).

Moses knew that sin destroys. When Israel turned from God's way to worship another god, he knew that they had made a covenant with death. His great love for them produced fury. He did not want to see them destroyed. True love is far more than a sentimental feeling. It is an active principle. It will produce certain definite results.

Perfect love to God can be expressed only by total obedience to Him "This is love, that we walk according to his commandments" (Second Letter of John 6). Love to man will be expressed in many ways, but it will NOT include excusing his sins. It will NEVER, under the guise of sympathy or compassion, condone another's committal to the Devil.

For true love recognizes that Satan's way is the way of death. True love will do all it can to save mankind from such a fate. Sin ends in destruction, so we must never develop a tolerance for it, in ourselves or in others. The world generally speaking does not recognize this today. That is one reason it does not understand the true meaning of love.

The Lord demonstrated His deep and true love to us, for we read: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16), and "God demonstrates his own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, the Messiah died for us" (Letter to the Romans 5:8).

That is love!