Read: John 3:16-21

What is Real Love?

In our culture, we love a lot of things. Whether it’s our family and friends, food and candy, or work and school, we all have things we love. However, not everything we love is equal. It’s easy to throw around the word “love,” but it almost seems to have lost its true meaning. We use the word so often that it begs the question, “What is real love anyway?” And how can we know God’s love?

Ask someone you know, “What do you think love means?” It seems like a simple question, but the answer can be difficult to put into words. It’s only in the Advent of Jesus that we know what real love looks like. Jesus is how we can know God’s love.

The Love of The Father

Real love—true love—is defined by God because God is love. In 1 John 4:9-10, we read, “God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

If you want to know what real love looks like, look at the love that sent Jesus to earth to pay the price for our sins. Jesus is our example of love.

Only Found in Jesus

Although our culture thinks it knows what love is, Hallmark cards miss the mark. Our world doesn’t define love. Love has been defined already by the coming of Jesus in His life, death, resurrection, and the salvation He brings. This love redeems, forgives, and saves. The eternal love of God was made visible through Jesus.

The Apostle Paul gave us the proof of God’s love when he wrote, “God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Notice this verse doesn’t say, “When we stopped sinning, Christ died for us.” And it doesn’t say, “When we do a good job, honor our parents, or are nice enough… Christ died for us.” No, instead, Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. That’s real love, and that’s proof of God’s love.

God’s love is what we celebrate at Christmas. Jesus is how we can know God’s love. And through His great love, we can have life.