DANNY G. HATFIELD, SR.: What is love? (part 1)

The word love is most likely the most misused word in any language. The word love is used to manipulate and control; the word love is used to deceive; the word love is used for financial gain; the word love is used to gain favor; the word love is used to get what you want. When we understand how the word love has been misused, we will understand we do not abide in love.

When considering love, do we truly understand love, what is Love? Is it an emotion? Is it a feeling? Is it a passive statement? Is it a means to get what we want? Let’s compare man’s depiction of love to God’s true meaning love.

Often man views love as an emotional response to an intimate relationship, often confusing lust for love. They then get involved in a lust relationship and when lust has been satisfied, what they considered to be love has gone by the wayside and emptiness remains. Lust relationships do not last.

When the word love is misused, it is often used out of habit, to gain control of a situation or simply to win the favor of another person. This can be determined by the fruit the person bears, what is the person’s motive? If there is no fruit of love, there is no love. In an intimate relationship outside of marriage, lust often takes control to manipulate another person to say yes to fornication or adultery.

Another love question is most generally targeted at family members. Consider, let’s say your mother has a need and you are able to meet that need but you do not. Yet, you say to your mother, I love you, where is the love?

Many say they love God!  Do they really? Consider God’s love, if we see a person in need of food, drink, shelter or clothing and we are able to meet that need, yet say to them, I will pray for you have a nice day or if we simply ignore them, where is the love of God?   “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1st John 3:17-18).

It appears today men desire to receive from God but do not desire to share what God has given to them. Understand, God appointed his body the church to meet the needs of those truly in need. If we say we love God and do not meet that need, we are no more than hypocrites, professing one thing and doing nothing. Where is God’s love in this, how do we expect to win the world if we choose to ignore those that are in it?

If we are true Christians, we are in the world, we are not of the world; we do not partake of the ways of the world but reach out to the world to win those in the world to Christ saving their soul from eternal death. A building and comfortable pews are nice, but we do not provide for a building made with hands, we provide for a building not made with hands built by God, the body of Christ.

There are two great commandments God has given to man, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:36-40). Just how do we love God?

Love is not an emotional response! Love is not lust that when it is satisfied it goes way! Love is not saying you love and never bear the fruit of it.

Love is an action, love is reflected in what we do, not what we say. God’s love for us is made known by what God has done for humanity; God’s love is made manifest by God’s actions. Love is an action and our love for God is made known by our actions, in obedience to God and is known by the fruit we bear, not by what we say.

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.  Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:8-10).

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.  If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other” (Galatians 5:13-15).