Valentine’s Day is the one day of the year that we focus on romantic love, but God speaks of love 24/7. Here are four Bible verses on the nature and practice of love:
Widely read at weddings, this famous verse (indeed the entire chapter) was originally written to a prideful congregation. Some of the Corinthian Christians were vaunting their particular spiritual gifts over others. Paul forcefully reminded the church that any gift, no matter how powerful, is useless if not practiced in love, which “does not brag …act unbecomingly…(or) rejoice in unrighteousness.”
“The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God…abounding in love and faithfulness…” (Exodus 34:6)
Usually we don’t think of the God of the Old Testament as loving. He has been cast as a peevish deity who doesn’t give a second thought about pelting villages with fire and brimstone. There is no denying that the Bible reveals the God of Israel as the God of judgment. But would you want the Supreme Being not to judge sin and punish wickedness? God’s wrath is always tempered by God’s love. His anger is slow, but His patience is long and His love abundant.
“…I say to you, love your enemies …” (Matthew 5:44)
In a world ruled by hate and suspicion, Jesus commands us to love our enemies. What exactly does that mean? Jesus goes on to say to pray for them, but He wasn’t implying that our prayers should call down fire on their heads (in fact, He rebuked His disciples for wanting to do this). Christ wants us to pray for their highest good — to know the love of God the Father. In extending love to people who oppose us, we truly become sons and daughters of the Most High.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16).
This — the most famous, beloved and memorized verse in the Bible– summarizes the heart of God. The Creator of the universe is also the Redeemer of the human soul. The Father loves the Son, but did not withhold His Son from a needy, sin-shattered world: “But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, ‘Papa! Father!’” (Galatians 4:4-7, The Message)
Want to read more encouraging Bible verses? Check out www.bibleverses.com.