Love Definition

Series: Love and War | Week 2: Marching Orders

Read 1 John 2:7-11 in your personal Bible or at the link provided.

1. How does John describe the commandment he’s giving?
2. What is the commandment?
3. What contrasts are painted in verses 9-11?

According to John, love is a command that’s both old and new. The Old Testament tells us to love God and others, but then Jesus came and redefined love in a whole new way, modeling and calling His followers to selfless, sacrificial love. This contrasts sharply with hate, which could range from despising someone to ignoring or being indifferent to someone.

Love is the umbrella that most of us want to live under, but within Christianity, we don’t get to define love. It’s already been defined for us through Jesus. Love can’t be removed from truth or from how we live, because then it’s no longer love.

If we want to reflect the light of Jesus, we have to live like He did. We can’t grow if hate has any hold on our hearts. We can’t grow if we do all the right things and believe all the right truths, but don’t love. God calls us to this old, new commandment – love Him and love others, not for what we can gain but for what we can give.

How are you doing in the area of love? Are there any differences between your definition and God’s definition?
Would you say you love God and others more for what you can gain? Or do you love out of a desire to give?
Is there anyone you hate, whether outright despising them or being indifferent to them? What would it look like to shift to a posture and expression of love toward that person?

Pray through these questions, and write down what God is prompting you to do next. Share with a friend, and take a step to apply it.

Love and War