By Oranu Chidimma

Love is essential in our everyday lives. Love governs every aspect of our life, that is; we are motivated to act or behave in a certain manner because of love, in other words everyone loves. It could either be love for self, money, pleasure, power or God etc.
As Christians, our lives should be governed and radiate a specific kind of love, that is, the love of God. This is because, we have the life of Christ and he lives in us (Gal. 2:20).

What then is the love ?
It’s so interesting to note that the simplest and truest definition of the concept of love is God. According to 1 John 4:16, love is defined to be God himself. Love is the very nature of God, it is his life, meaning that at any point in time you see genuine love, you see God. And they can be no true love without him.

Therefore, we have the love of God if we live the life of God, Which is found in Christ. You must understand that by believing in the crucification and resurrection of Christ and confessing that Jesus is the son of God. You share in the very life God. ( 1 John 4:16)

The love of God in man can be expressed in two dimension; love for God and Love for our neighbors (fellow man) (Mark 12:30-31). None is independent of the other, and you can’t say that you love God and don’t love your neighbor or people around you ( 1 John 4:12 & 20) because the love of God was demonstrated to the world and loving God is to do the will of the father. The will of the father is that men be reconciled back to Him and you can’t reconcile men to God if you don’t love them.
While love to God is obedience (John 14:15 & 1 John 5:3) love to men is to care for all men including your enemies (Luke 6:35).

How do we express God’s love

I) Sacrifice
God showed us this when he sacrificed His only son Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Till there is sacrifice there is no love. Can you sacrifice those precious things, treasures, people to God if he request of them? Can you give up your comfort, riches, fame etc to save a soul in need? If the answers to these questions are No, you don’t have the love of God in you.

II) Endurance
The love of God can endure the pain of anything life can throw at it. It endures all tribulations, challenges, persecutions and never comprise while facing any of them rather it wins over them and wears the crown. In your love for God can you genuinely endure challenges that may come your ways as in (2nd timothy 2 v 3).
III) Forgives and covers wrongs(proverb 10:12): one can easily forgive and overlook the sins and offences of others if they are loved ones. Despite all that is done to Christ on the cross he never cursed us or placed the blame on his oppressors rather, he pleaded with the Father to forgive their sins (Luke 23:34).

Why should I love God ?
There are numerous reasons to love, some include:

Loving because God loves me. God loved the world that he gave His only son to die for my sins. I will love him to show that I appreciate His love which he expressed for me and the whole world.
II) The love of God brings unending joy (John 15:11). The more we love God the more our source of Joy is being deep in Christ. Since the Lord lives forever, our joy can never be cut short no matter the circumstances we face or the losses we incur.

It is true that God loves all but God only dwells in those who love him (John 14:13).
We can only partake in the beautiful place the Lord has prepared for us if only we love him (1 Cor. 2:9).
The love of God is God; the life of God, he who have the love of God have God also.