Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Co 13:4–7.
“Love is faithful and benevolent self-giving to a person. In the Bible, love is the central attribute of God, the primary fruit of the followers of God, and the defining characteristic of the kingdom of God announced in Jesus.” (R. P. Nettelhorst, “Love,” Lexham Theological Wordbook).
Love is the Christian’s basic and essential response to God. “We love, because He first loved us.” 1 Jn 4:19. God’s love for us is demonstrated in the indescribable gift of his Son. “Believing in and being overwhelmed by this amazing reality of divine love generates and sustains the love to God and neighbor that Christ’s two great commandments require (Matthew 22:35-40). Our love is to express gratitude for God’s gracious love to us, and to be modeled on it (Eph. 4:32-5:2; 1 John 3:16)” (J.I. Packer Concise Theology, 181).
Love is the grand characteristic of God demonstrated in the Bible. Let love be the grand characteristic demonstrated in our lives and in our congregation.
“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” 1 Jn 3:16–18.