It seems appropriate, as we celebrate the day of love, to consider the true meaning of love as told to us by the One who created it. There are many interpretations of the Bible, and many different things that people have emphasized from it, but one thing should be clear to all: God wants us to love. This page, therefore, contains the following sections:
Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them
without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will
be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is
kind to the ungrateful and wicked. -Luke 6:35The meaning of Love
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you
must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciples, if
you love one another. -John 13:34-35
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another
above yourselves. -Romans 12:9-10
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one
another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The
commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not
steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are
summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does
no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Do everything in love. -1 Cor 16:14
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to
indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire
law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one
another in love. -Eph 4:2
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children
Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave
himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may
have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all
together in perfect unity. -Col 3:13-14
Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for
you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.
And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia.
Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more. -1 Thes 4:9-10
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who
promised is faithful.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love
and good deeds. -Hebrews 10:23-24
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your
neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. -James 2:8
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so
that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another
deeply, from the heart. -1 Peter 1:22
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a
multitude of sins. -1 Peter 4:8
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we
should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The
reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
-1 John 3:1
This is how we know who the children of God are and who the
children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right
is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his
brother. This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should
love one another. -1 John 3:10-11
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his
life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our
brothers. -1 John 3:16
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with
actions and in truth. -1 John 3:18
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone
who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love
does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love
among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live
through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends,
since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has
ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love
is made complete in us. -1 John 4:7-12
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher,"
he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
"What is written
in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
He answered: "'Love
the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with
all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as
"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this
and you will live."
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked
Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
In reply Jesus said: "A man was
going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of
robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away,
leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road,
and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a
Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other
side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when
he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds,
pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took
him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver
coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and
when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who
fell into the hands of robbers?"
The expert in the law replied, "The
one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. -John 15:13
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. -Romans 5:8
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. -Eph 3:16-19
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
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 have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
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. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 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 childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor 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.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.