Love and Obedience, part 3

The Verb and the Motive

While obedience is the primary way we express our love to God, it is not the same as love. Love is essentially a motive; it is a verb. If I were married, I am to love my wife as Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5:25). For every Christian, Christ Himself commands that we are to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). In each instance, love is used as a verb; not a feeling. While Disney, Miramax, Chinese soap shows/movies and popular radio will tell us that love is a noun, something that we fall into… Scripture again paints us a completely different picture: love is something we do.

As a motive, love is that which prompts and guides other verbs and actions. For example, I love my enemies first by forgiving them of their harmful actions toward me, and then by seeking their welfare in appropriate ways. The verbs here are forgive and seek. Love always needs other verbs to give it hands and feet, for by itself it can do nothing. This is clearly seen in 1 Corinthian 13 where the noun love is used by Paul as the subject of a whole list of action statements.

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