Years ago, Tina Turner posed this question in a pop song. She belted out, “What’s love but a second-hand emotion?” She acknowledged the gratification in a physical connection, but that’s it…nothing more. One may sympathize with her after the years of torment she suffered at the hands of her abusive husband, Ike Turner. We can understand such cynicism. Our world looks at how the church is often at war with one another. I hear stories of churches that abuse their pastors, and pastors who abuse their congregations. The fighting we engage in makes headlines.
We must rise above the cynicism and take steps toward genuine love. Love is the supreme virtue. It expresses the nature of God. It is the great commandment. Indeed to love God with every fiber of our being and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves sums up the Word of God. Jesus added that for believers to love one another was the mark of being His disciple, and offers an undeniable testimony to the world of the reality of our faith. Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that apart from God’s love nothing else matters. Love will last for eternity.
We have just celebrated Valentine’s Day this week. It is a day to honor love. My wife and I have try to do something special—usually getting away for a few days. But, that day is like the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae. All year—day by day—we speak of our love for one another and show it as well. Our love is more than a momentary emotion; it is an abiding reality.
The love of God is seen most graphically and expressed most fully on an old rugged cross. Jesus gave His all so that we might know His all—dying so we could live, enduring our hell so we could enter His heaven. It was done, not because we deserved it, but because we needed it. What we merit is judgment. Jesus took that in our place so we might be justified. “For God so loved the world [insert your name here] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).
Paul stresses in Ephesians 5, how Christ loves His Bride, the church, and calls on husbands to show that kind of living sacrifice to our spouse. Listen, if Christ so loves the church, we ought. Our local congregation is not without blemish, yet the promise is that Christ will wash and someday claim His bride who will be spotless and stunningly beautiful in holiness.
Love is far more than a second-hand emotion!
In Christ’s Love,
Dennis Thurman, Haywood Baptist AMS