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Love...What does it mean?

I Corinthians 13(NIV)
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

For years many of us have heard these verses. Some of us even have them memorized. However, do we really believe the words that are written? What does the word love really mean to us?

Love is caring. Love is merciful. Love is unconditional. These would be three things that come to mind right away. Is love truly unconditional? Are we really capable of unconditional love, or do we tend to place small conditions on our loving someone else without even realizing it?

Think about someone that you say you truly love unconditionally. Now, ask yourself, would you trade your life for theirs at any given moment? Or, would it have to be on a day when you weren't upset with them?

Aren't you glad to know that Jesus laid down his life for you before he ever even knew you? He made the choice to lay down his in life in place of ours so that we could live eternally with him and God the Father. He didn't say “well Father, Jo Smith is at it again. He’s cussing up a blue streak, so I just don’t think I can die for him today.”

What about some of you with children; would you lay your life down for your child? What if you were asked that on a day when they weren't behaving the way you would like for them to? Despite the fact that we don’t always act the way God would like for us to, he still sent his son, Jesus, to the cross to save our lives. It didn't matter what we might end up doing, God knew that he would love us no matter what. That is why he prepared the way in advance for us so that he would never have to be separated from us.

It’s up to us now. We have to make the choice to believe that God’s word is true and that he does love us unconditionally. We have to trust in him and have faith that he will never abandon us. No matter what struggle we might be facing in our lives right now, God is there to see us through it, if we chose to believe in him. God the Father has done his part, now we have to do ours.

Make the choice to believe in the Lord’s unconditional love today.