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Understanding God’s Definition of Love - Daily Hope with Rick Warren - March 1, 2020

  • 2020 Mar 01

Understanding God’s Definition of Love
By Rick Warren

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

If we’re going to do a whole devotional series on love—and, more importantly, if the Bible says it needs to be central to our lives—let’s take a few moments to consider what love really is.

1. 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). 

You can’t always control an emotion, and God would never command you to do something that he doesn’t give you the power and the ability to do. That means that love is not a feeling. Imagine seeing a little kid who’s crying and upset, and saying: “I command you to be happy! I command you to stop crying!” You simply can’t command someone to feel a certain way.

2. 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” (The Message). If you “go after” something, that means you make a choice. Love is a choice. We choose to love or not to love.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had men or women who are trying to justify a separation or divorce say, “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 in your life. You choose to love in spite of how you feel and give the other person what she needs, not what she deserves. You choose to love others like God loves us.

3. 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. The problem is most of the time we’re too busy. 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.

4. 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). Our relationship with God is largely affected by our relationship with other people. If we commit to love and stay in love, then we will keep in one with our hearts with God, and he’ll stay one with us—because God is love.

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the lords prayer childrens book daily hope rick warren october 2021 offerBuild a Firm Foundation of Prayer in the Next Generation!

“Perhaps the most important role you can play in the life of a child is teaching them to trust God through prayer. It’s the key to living with hope.” —Pastor Rick

That’s why it’s so important to strengthen the hope of kids by introducing them to Jesus’ model for prayer at an early age. And we’re excited to help you do that with Pastor Rick’s children’s book, The Lord’s Prayer: Words of Hope and Happiness.

Filled with thoughtful insights from Pastor Rick as well as stunning illustrations from award-winning artist, Richard Jesse Watson, this book brings the poetic scripture from the King James Version alive for readers young and old. It’s sure to become a meaningful bedtime ritual, a treasured memory, and by God’s grace, a legacy that bears good fruit for generations to come.

This book is a perfect way to share the beauty and richness of The Lord’s Prayer with the children the Lord has placed in your life. And it’s our thanks for your gift below to help Daily Hope take the Good News to more people everywhere. So please request a copy for yourself or a friend today, and thanks for your generosity!

*The USA IRS code permits you to deduct the amount of your financial gift to Daily Hope that exceeds the fair market value of materials you received from Daily Hope.

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

You can listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.




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