“Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13) HCSB]
“Dear friends, let us love one another because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know god, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8) [HCSB]
“If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” (1 Corinthians 13:3) [MSG]
“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) [HCSB]
To deepen my love I must …
• … replace my desire for convenience with obedience to God.
“He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) [HCSB]
“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always ‘me first,’ Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. Love never dies.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) [MSG]
“If you love Me, you will keep My commands.” (John 14:15) [HCSB]
“Loving God means keeping his commandments, and really, that isn’t difficult.” (1 John 5:3) [NLT]
• … soak in God’s love and constantly be filled up.
1. God’s love is personal.
“I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me …” (John 10:14) [HCSB]
2. God’s love is transformational.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) [HCSB]
“For Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If One died for all, then all died.” (2 Corinthians 5:14) [HCSB]
3. God’s love is sacrificial.
“The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.” (Romans 8:3) [NLT]
“Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him.” (Ephesians 5:2) [NLT]