Scriptures: 2 Timothy 4:9-11
The Bible lists fifteen characteristics of Christian love in the 1 Corinthians 13. It tells us that: "love is patient": love has patience with people. "Love is kind": sweet to all. "Love knows no envy:" envy is not just wanting what others have, but wishing they had never gotten it to begin with. "Love is not boastful:" we must remember to stay humble. "Love is not proud." "Love is not rude:" courtesy, tact and politeness are lovely things. "Love is not self-seeking, easily angered, keeps no records of wrong, does not delight in evil, rejoices in truth. always protect, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres."
God's love for us is: proven love- it is sacrificial. His love is pure: He loved us while we were yet sinners. It's perfect: truly unconditional. It's powerful: promotes changes in our lives for the better. It's protective: God's love guards our lives. It's patient: He is incredibly long-suffering with us and abundant in mercy. It's a providing love: God's love supplies all our needs.
Love is greater than a feeling. Love is something that can be seen lived out in life. Love is demonstrated by actions and sacrifice. Love that is real can be counted on to survive the greatest challenges of this life.
There is love, but there are also lovers. Lovers are what we invest our love in. We can be lovers of God, people, music, entertainment, places, professions, positions, power, popularity, etc. The Bible tells that "Demas loved this present world." Demas became in love with the present and totally neglected his future. He became focused on what was occurring at the time: what was current, seemed to be immediate, but truly was temporary. This love of the world caused Demas to forsake others. Paul was deserted for the love that Demas had for the present world.
It is good to love, but ask yourself the question: who are my lovers? Do I love this present world? That love will leave to loveless actions. Do I love God? This love will lead to actions that demonstrate what love really looks like. Do I love others? Above everything it is people we should love. Have I loved someone to Jesus? Have I loved someone to His cross? What is my first lover?