What Kind of Love? – California Southern Baptist Convention

What Kind of Love?

Published Dec 06, 2022

As we head into this Christmas season, you will hear quite a bit about people showing love through the giving of gifts and the spending of time together. But is that truly love? Is that the kind of love that God calls us to in the Bible?

Tony Evans defines biblical love as “…the decision to compassionately, responsibly, and righteously pursue the well-being of another person. Love is a decision to seek another’s best, regardless of your feelings.”[1]

We have been trying to teach this principle to our kids. One of my favorite treats during the holidays is my mom’s famous pumpkin bread. When our family talked about biblical love being sacrificial, my children decided it would be good to give up some of that pumpkin bread to our neighbors. I’m not sure they fully understood what I was teaching, but that kind of sacrifice is on the right path.

When we look at the life of Jesus, we see that He came from Glory to a manger. He lived among those He would give His life for on the cross. He loved those the world saw as unlovable and did all of this as an example of how God expects us to live as followers of Jesus.

In John chapter 13:34-35 (CSB), Jesus says, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. 35 By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

What’s significant about this command is that it made Jesus the standard to follow, and the world the judge based on that standard.

At this time, Jesus is preparing his disciples for His coming Passover departure. He is giving them direction on how they should live as His disciples. In this chapter, Judas ultimately heads out to betray Jesus, and Peter is told that he will deny Jesus three times. Yet Jesus still serves them as He washes their feet!

In the late 60s, my dad served in Winkelman, Arizona. There was a gentleman there that was negative about everything that happened in the church. As my dad would drive 2 hours each way to serve in the church, my mom recalls him saying, “I’m going to love him! I’m going to love him!”

It’s not always easy loving people the way that Jesus did, but it’s important. In doing so, we show them the love of Christ through our lives. I challenge you this Christmas season to look intentionally for opportunities to show fellow believers this kind of love. Don’t just give them presents but truly look for ways to serve them in love!

[1] Evans, T. (2019). The Tony Evans Study Bible (p. 1252). Holman Bible.