Authentic. A word which, even without looking up a dictionary, brings about the words “genuine” and “pure” to mind. Who would not dream of having such kind of love? Have we not, humans, been in constant search for this kind of love, genuine and pure and one-of-a-kind?
Fortunately, we need not look far. Because thousands of years ago, one Lover defined what authentic love is, not in describing how deep His affection goes for His beloved, but, rather, by demonstrating it:
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Authentic. His love is:
A LOVE THAT TRULY LOVES
- Today, “love” seems to be quite an overused word, so much so that it has started to diminish its meaning. Consider this:
- “love” a shirt, but dispose it when it becomes too old or too tattered to wear
- “love” a dish, but refuse it when our stomach is full or our appetite is poor
- “love” a TV show, but miss it for a night out with friends
- “love” a movie, but reject it when the lead actor is found guilty of a terrible crime
- “love” a person we have a crush on, but hate him when he gets a girlfriend
- “love” our friends, but mark those who forget to greet us on our birthday
- To know how deeply the word “love” goes, go back to the fountain of all love—the God who is Love.
- His love is a love that truly loves. It goes beyond all words.
- Yes, the Bible is filled with verses about God’s love; but no, it doesn’t stop there.
- When God said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3), He meant it. From the nothingness of the universe up to the abundance it now has, God has demonstrated His love.
- And that love was made flesh in the person of Jesus. Even at times when words failed Him—when they weren’t enough—Jesus demonstrated His love.
- He loved when, by His silence, He hushed the crowd raging against the woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8).
- He loved when, in silent agony, He wept for his friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus (John 11:35).
- He loved when, with mouth tightly shut, He endured the horrible pain of dying, flesh by flesh, limb by limb, at the cross of Calvary (Isaiah 53:7).
- His love is a love that truly loves. It goes beyond all acts.
- When religious leaders taught of love while casting the sinners away from society, Jesus had fellowship with these very sinners.
- Luke 5:29-30 – 29 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’
- Luke 5:31-32 – 31 Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’
- When they taught of love while teaching people to abandon the sick, Jesus sought the sick and touched them.
- Luke 5:12-13 – 12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ 13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ And immediately the leprosy left him.
- Matthew 9:35 – Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and illness.
- When the same religious leaders taught of love while living their lives in sin, Jesus offered His holy blood to cleanse all sins—even theirs.
We use “love” when we…
1 John 4:8-10 – 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
A LOVE THAT WHOLEHEARTEDLY ACCEPTS
- One of the most famous ways of “personalizing” love is to make a poem entitled “I love you because…”
- “I love you because of your eyes.”
- “I love you because of your humor.”
- “I love you because of the way you make me laugh.”
- “I love you because you understand me.”
- While these messages could make people giddy with delight, these are far from what authentic love is: God’s kind of love.
- Agape – Gk. Word that roughly translates to “love at its ultimate”
- Romans 5:10a – For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son…
- God’s love is not “I love you because…” Rather, it is “I love you even though…”
- His love is a love that wholeheartedly accepts. It goes beyond all flaws.
- It was an invitation to people who could not bare their deepest secrets to their loved ones for fear of losing them.
- Several people responded. For, finally, they found ‘someone’ to tell their secrets to, while remaining anonymous.
- God’s love goes beyond all sins. Instead of condemnation, He offers forgiveness. Instead of punishment, He offers sanctification. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
- John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
- Remember this song?
“What potentially relationship-ending secrets are you keeping from your significant other?” Reddit once posted this question on their website.
Hindi ko maintindihan kadakilaan ng pag-ibig Mo
Hindi ko maunawaan mapagpatawad na puso Mo
Ako’y inibig Mo, pinili Mo,gayung ako ay nagkulang sa’Yo
Pasasalamat ko’y alay sa’Yo
O Diyos, purihin Ka sa pag-ibig Mo
- We had the death penalty mark on our head:
- Romans 3:23 – …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…
- Romans 6:23a – For the wages of sin is death…
- And there was only one thing that could save us from it: Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 9:22, NSRV)
- The only one who could shed the blood that would cleanse us all and save us from eternal damnation, was Jesus, a lamb without blemish or defect (1 Peter 1:18-19).
- The shedding of Jesus’ blood, therefore, was an act required by our holy and just God.
- He was not, however, just forced to do it to fulfill that requirement. He, lovingly, described that sacrifice as laying down His life for His friends (John 15:13)—an act of authentic love.
- As simple and, even, sweet as “laying down one’s life for his friends” sounds, the act itself was definitely not easy for Jesus.
- Philippians 2:6-8 – 6 who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!
- Isaiah 53:3-5 – 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
- His love is a love that willingly sacrifices. It goes beyond all pain.
- He finished the required sacrifice once and for all—painstakingly, yes. But willingly… lovingly. For you… for me.
Authentic. A love that truly loves, a love that wholeheartedly accepts, a love that willingly sacrifices. Indeed, who would not dream of having—and giving—such kind of love?
Accept it. Accept Him… the Greatest Lover, and you shall have it. Then, follow His example, and you can give it. For this is the kind of love that we have received from the God of Love… the love that we ought to pass on, in honor of the One who is love.