Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 20 Number 10 October 2018
Page 14

Understanding Love

Donald R. Fox

Donald R. FoxMost of us understand that words convey thoughts, everyday communications, instructions, etc. The words we use may not mean the same for all people. Understandable words can be misunderstood. Do we all understand alike what love is? I would suggest the most common definition of love is “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person; a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child or friend” (Dictionary.com). However, we know that a man can beat his wife and children, harming the ones he loves. Many times, people are murdered because of a twisted understanding of love.

Usually broken homes, because of divorce, are the results of broken foundations. The basic foundation for the home is love. There is no foundation more solid and more enduring, more tolerant and forgiving than love. Love emanates from God. Since God is the founder of the home, what could be more appropriate, more meaningful and more purposeful than to say that home and love are as inseparable as God and love are inseparable. Home without love is like God without love! (Howard 92)

Love is a prominent topic, especially in the New Testament portion of the Bible.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (1 Corinthians 13:1-13 KJV)

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (1 John 2:15-17)

Likewise, this admirable type of love is a frequent topic with mankind. “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own” (Robert A. Heinlein). “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind” (William Shakespeare). “Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it” (Nicholas Sparks). “Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold” (Zelda Fitzgerald).

Yet, no one can improve upon or match the biblical emphasis of the highest form of love. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted…” (Ephesians 4:32). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8).

Works Cited


Howard, V.E. Broken Homes and Handicapped Children. West Monroe: Central Printers & Publishers, 1972.

The First and
Greatest Commandment

Cliff Holmes

Cliff HolmesBut when the Pharisee heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said to him “You shall love the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40)

The Pharisees were intent on tangling Jesus in His own words. When the young lawyer was confronting Jesus about the greatest commandment, he did not want the truth. Instead, he wanted to make our Lord stumble in His own teachings.

When Jesus was found in the Temple engaging the learned men of His time, He was not just a child jabbering about things beyond His understanding. He was teaching them that the Lord God of Israel was one God. This was the theme of His entire ministry. He taught that God the Father should be the primary love and devotion of all men for all times.

Secondly, man should look to his neighbor with the love and concern that he desires for himself—“love your neighbor as yourself.” Loving our neighbors is to realize that our neighbors are as we were at one time—lost, without God and without hope in this world and in the next.

 Just as someone gently, patiently and lovingly taught us about the Christ and all He means to all men, we have the same responsibility to lead our neighbors in exploring the life of joy and peace in Jesus Christ that we have found. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. That life is the life by which we now show honor and glory to our Lord and Savior.

Dear Friend, God so loved us that He gave His only Son to redeem us from the punishment for all our sins. The greatest commandment is love God first and foremost. The second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love your neighbor enough to bring him or her the same message that Jesus has given to us all. Your field of harvest for the Master is right here in your own neighborhood. Go and do your best to bring in the sheaves. Bring the wandering ones to Jesus.

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