So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
- 1 Corinthians 13:13
“All you need is love,” sang the Beatles back in the 60s. People really believed that then. And the reason they believed is because it’s true.
But the love the Beatles were singing about, and the love that has failed and frustrated so many in this generation, is not actually the love we need. We need the greatest love of all, God’s love – manifested in Christ and working out in our lives as love for God and our neighbors.
You can’t get such love by merely wishing and hoping and singing for it. Such love comes through faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His example and Word.
But we can grow in love, which is the greatest of all Christian virtues. Love fortifies faith and fuels hope; love issues in courage, wisdom, self-control, and justice. No wonder love is the greatest virtue, and no wonder the Bible defines love in terms of God and Jesus Christ.
The world needs love as much today as ever, and the followers of Jesus Christ are the ambassadors of love to make known the Good News of Jesus to the world. By our lives and words we can demonstrate and proclaim the reality and power of the love of God, holding out thereby the hope that others can enter with us into the Lord’s Kingdom of love.
But we need to make sure we understand this virtue and how to express it, and that we are committed to growing in love for the glory of God and the betterment of our neighbors.
Make love your aim, and you cannot fail to meet the needs of those around you. Make love your aim, and you’ll find Jesus ready to meet, fill, empower, and enable you with this greatest of all Christian virtues.
Resources for this topic:
Order a copy of Chuck Colson’s book, Loving God, from our online store.
Here are some resources to help you grow in the love of Christ:
Charles Colson, “Truth and Love”
Matthew Guerino, “Indiscriminate Love”
Peter Kreeft, “Love”
T. M. Moore, “Everything in Love”
T. M. Moore, “How Do They Love Like That?”
T. M. Moore, “The Obligation of Love”
Regis Nicoll, “True Love”
Here are some activities that can help you encourage others in the love of Christ:
- Get together with some Christian friends. Tell them you’ve been doing some reading about Christian love. Ask them to talk about why love is so important. What opportunities for everyday acts of love are they presented with every day? Talk about how you can help one another become more consistent in showing the love of Christ to people around you.
- Talk with some church leaders about the great commandment to love God. How is your church working to equip the members for this highest calling and obligation? What specific activities does the church sponsor which are designed to help people grow in love for God? See if there is anything you can do to help in this matter.
- Email today’s Talking Points column to several Christian friends. Challenge them to read some of the resources, watch the "Two-Minute Warning," and take on one of the activities.
A conversation starter
Here’s a conversation starter you can try out with some believing friends: “Loving God is the first and greatest commandment. How do we know when we’re loving God as we should?”