What is love?

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Love is such an important, appealing, and wonderful word. We all love the idea of “Love”. It evokes warm thoughts, emotions, even acts of kindness. It makes us, and others, feel good. It’s also the inspiration for much of art and music. But, what is it? (Click paintings to enlarge)

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), “Boy and Girl Gazing at the Moon (Puppy Love),” (1926)

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) – “The Bath” – 39″ x 26″ – Oil (1893)

Rembrandt (1606-1669) – “The Jewish Bride” – 48″ x 65″ – Oil (1665+)


Love is expressed in many ways, everything from clicking the “Love” button on Facebook and Instgram to giving one’s life for someone. The world tells us much about love and as Valentine’s Day approaches, we use that day to express what is called love. But, is it real love or a lesser form of it?

In this fallen world, corrupted by sin, the reality is that there is a spiritual battle constantly being waged for the souls of man. Are we going to obey and worship the God of creation, or are we going to obey and worship the counterfeit who wants to ascend to the position of God?

Jean Gerome (1824-1904) – “Pygmalion and Galatea” – 35″ x 27″ – Oil (1890)


The Scripture says that the “Struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.” No wonder our world is in such a mess. We are listening to the ruler of this world and one of the tools he uses is to influence and use the arts and media, including the film and music industries and those associated with them to accomplish his purpose of drawing man away from God and His Son, Jesus Christ. They are the influencers of culture. The big  battleground is Christ Jesus and Christianity…the goal…to destroy it; this is done via misrepresentation, lies, deception, ridicule, threats, even death. All religions are acceptable and pose no threat to Satan’s goals because they teach a different way to God, a way Satan is happy for all man to embrace…a man centered way…based on works.

Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1617-1682) – “Return of the Prodigal Son” – 93″ x 103″ – Oil (1667)


Love is more than an emotion, it’s a decision


Jean Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) – “The Boating Party Lunch” – 51″ x 68″ – Oil (1881)


One of the big deceptions Satan promotes is that all people are basically good. That folks, is completely opposite of what the Bible says. “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.” So, when man’s sin is watered down, so is his need of a Savior. It’s then an easy leap for man to create his own reality, create god in his image, worship self rather than the Creator, do what he wants, and become a god himself.

Lucien Freud – “Two Men” – 42″ x 29″ – Oil (1987)


It is said of Satan that he comes to kill, steal, and destroy. Looking at our world should leave no doubt that his desire and efforts to bring about these things has dramatically been ramped up the last few years. During this time, what is defined as love has greatly expanded. “Tolerance” is the word of the day; we’re not a loving person unless we wholeheartedly embrace and accept every kind of deviant behavior imaginable. “I’ll love and accept you as long as you…” (fill in the blank)…but, if we don’t approve of what they’re selling, then rejection, cancellation, personal attacks, law suits, and worse, come raining down on the offending party. It’s a hypocritical love, for the very sin they joyously promote, suddenly, when it no longer benefits them, is used as a hammer to destroy another with whom they now disagree. When the God of creation, as revealed in His Son Jesus, is rejected, then it is impossible to love as God loves; so the enemy of God provides a substitute…one that is easy to accept, one that serves self…the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the boastful pride of life.

Is it really love to let someone we know is on a path to destruction continue on that path in the name of “tolerance”? We all know the answer to that.

“What can you do for me today?” is the world in which we live. Thankfully, One came to show us a different way, to demonstrate what real love is. “And God demonstrates His own love for us in this: ‘While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.'” God’s kind of love is a sacrificial conscious choice. not one of a capricious tyrant.

The Bible gives us a pretty clear definition of true love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” Does every person on becoming a follower of Christ immediately love as God loves? No, it’s a process and certainly not the kind of love consistently found in me, but thanks be to God, He is constantly at work in those that love Him. May you too be found in Jesus and blessed in His love.

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