December 19: 2 Corinthians 8:8-9

I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (NIV)

“All you need is love, love, love is all you need” – the Beatles

“Beatles said ‘All you need is love’, and then they broke up” – Larry Norman

In the English language, there are many things meant by the word love. Some of these are affection, attraction, admiration, devotion, and enthusiasm. Love is used to sell music and merchandise. According to Wikipedia, there are at least fifteen movies, twenty-one albums, and over thirty songs titled simply “Love”. We tend to seek love, or at least some vague concept of love throughout our lives. It can sometimes be difficult to figure out what we mean by love, as the word has been so widely applied as to render it common and trite.

One sense of love is “benevolent concern for another.”. This seems nice and perhaps a little bland, evoking not much more than mild best wishes. However, consider how God amplifies this concept of love compared to how we generally think of it.  It is far beyond “benevolent concern” to commit oneself to rescue poor, sinful humans from their rebellious state. Knowing the full consequences of entering our world as a human, He comes anyway, spends a lifetime growing and learning, and shows us the most excellent love possible. How will we respond?

Mike Atchley