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  • Dr. Donna Renfro

Love Has Requirements

Love requires obedience. God is love. (I John 4:8) Jesus, the son of God, was required to literally lay down his life at Calvary. God’s love for us is evidence by His gift to us through his son, Jesus Christ at Calvary.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one

and only Son”

John 3:16

Once a person accepts Jesus Christ as his Savior, then his life is not his own. We were bought with a price. According to the Bible, obedience is better than sacrifice. (I Samuel 15: 22-23). Yet, it seems that obedience has the appearance of great sacrifice when one is following God. However, things are never what they appear in the natural. Loving God and obediently serving Him is a privilege.

Love is not a feeling. Love is a force. God is love. The greatest example of love in all of history is Jesus Christ, and his obedience displayed at Calvary. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ, one must walk allowing the love of God to direct his thinking, speaking, and actions. Before we can daily obey God in our own life, we must know what God requires of us.

What is love?

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” I Corinthians 13:4-8

Each aspect of love can harness our feelings and emotions which will allow us to walk in the love of God and flow with His will. Daily reading I Corinthians 13:4-8, and making it personal will change your thinking.

“My love is patient; my love is kind. My love does not envy; my love does not boast; my love it is not proud. My love does not dishonor others. My love is not self-seeking; my love is not easily angered; my love keeps no record of wrongs. My love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. My love always protects; my love always trusts; my love always hopes; my love always perseveres. God’s love in me never fails.”

Reading and applying these scriptures daily will change your perspective on how to daily love yourself and others. For instance stating, “My love keeps no records of wrong” will convict you of “wrongs” you may be harboring in your heart against people, family or friends. Releasing them and loving them will heal your heart. Ultimately, the hardest person you will ever forgive is yourself. But, as you release the hurts or “wrongs” from others, you will begin to heal and forgive yourself as well.

Realizing you are responsible for you, and you are the only one who can change your thinking will enable you to obey God. Once you know the type of love God requires from you, you can change your actions and reactions. You cannot change any other person, but you can change your thinking, speaking, and actions as well as love everyone. As you walk in obedience to the type of love God requires in your life, you will become a reflection of God’s love. You will literally become a magnet of love which will draw people toward you. God is love, and He is a powerful force. God’s love is perfect. God loves you and wants you to live a life full of love.

It may appear difficult to truly love yourself or others, but ultimately you will learn that obedience is truly better than sacrifice. To live a life where you love God’s way, will bring you peace, love, joy, and more happiness than you could have ever imagined.

Practical Application: Daily read and apply I Corinthians 13:4-8 and allow God to change your perspective on how to love yourself and others.

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