The four-letter-word love is a noun, a verb, and can also be used as an adjective. In these respects, we can say God loves the world. We can also say Jesus is in love with His Church, and we can finally say God hates sins but love sinners. Love is an important word that connotes many things. It is a strong affection for another that can be due to many reasons, including affection, benevolence, or common interests. The essential factor in a loving relationship is that it is an emotional feeling based purely on what the individual in love expects to gain from the interaction or relationship.
The love of God for humanity goes beyond emotions. It involves the human lives that are at stake. A parent or lover can give his comfort for the well-being of his loved ones, while kinsmen can defend their own as a sign of benevolence. Men can donate goods and treasures for others’ comfort. Humans can go an extra length by donating organs for the cure and well-being of others, but no one can give his life for another person or die in place of another individual. This is so because life has no duplicate.
Jesus gave His life as a ransom for condemned men (all men). Jesus described His love for the world that He created (John 1:1-3) as a greater form of love. Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one’s life for his friends (John 15:13). Jesus came to the world to lay down His love for us that He called His friends. He loved the Father, and He obeyed Him till death, and the Father loved Him in return (Philippians 2:8-11). As a result of this, Jesus encouraged us, His followers, to love Him the way He loved us. The only way He wanted us to demonstrate this love is by loving one another (John 15:12, 17).
The ingredient that is missing at homes these days is love. This Christian love is equally missing in the Church. If it is missing in our homes, it is definitely missing in the Church, and by extension, it is missing in the place of work, on our streets, in our country, and in the world. No wonder there are strive and wars around us. Understanding the nature of Christian love will help us to embrace the love of God and respond to this love by spreading it to our families, neighbors, and the world around us. Loving God is the foundation for loving one another (Mark 12:30-31).