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What Is Love?
By Rick Warren

“Love means doing what God has commanded us.” 2 John 1:6 (NLT) 

Because love should be central to our lives, we need to be sure to understand what love really is.

The Bible says love is a command. God commands that we love each other: “Love means doing what God has commanded us” (2 John 1:6 NLT). 

Because God commands you to love, he also gives you the power and ability to do it! That means that love isn’t a feeling—because we can’t always control our feelings. Imagine saying to a crying child: “I command you to be happy!” That wouldn’t work, because we don’t have total control over our feelings. But God commands us to love, so that means we’re able to love.

The Bible says love is a choice. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14:1, “Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does” (MSG). If you “go after” something, that means you make a choice. Love is a choice; you choose to love or not to love.

Many people try to justify a divorce by saying, “I just don’t love my spouse anymore”—as if that’s totally out of their control. But acting in love when you don’t feel like it is actually a higher level of love than when you do feel like it. It’s one thing to love when the flowers are in bloom, but the real test of love is in the winter, when things are not going great. You can choose to love others like God loves you, in spite of how you feel. You can give the other person what they need, not what they deserve.

The Bible says love is a conduct. Love is something you do. The Bible says, “Let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions” (1 John 3:18 TLB). 

Every day God puts opportunities around us to demonstrate love. But most of the time, we’re too busy to follow through. How many times have you thought, “I need to make a call; I need to encourage that person at work; I need to help my neighbor,” but then you missed the opportunity because something else came up? Love takes advantage of opportunities to serve others.

The Bible says love is a commitment. The Bible says in 1 John 4:16, “God is love. If we keep on loving others, we will stay one in our hearts with God, and he will stay one with us” (CEV). Your relationship with God is greatly affected by your relationship with other people. If you commit to loving others, then you will stay one in your heart with God, and he’ll stay one with you—because God is love.

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Encourage a Graduate in Your Life

Graduation time is here, and chances are there’s a young person in your life who could use some encouragement, along with a little guidance.

Set them up for success with Pastor Rick’s The Purpose Driven Life: Selected Thoughts and Scriptures for the Graduate.

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We’d love to send you a copy of this special resource as thanks for your gift today to help Daily Hope take the transforming power of Jesus into more lives around the world.

So request your copy below—and set a young graduate on the path to all God has for their life!

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

You can listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.