“Pursue love…” These are the first words found in chapter 14 of 1 Corinthians. Pursue love. When we add the final words from chapter 13, it reads as follows: “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Pursue love…”
Why not pursue faith and hope? Why love? Perhaps because without love, nothing else matters. Without love, we are lost. Without love, there is nothing to put your faith in, nothing to hope for. Who really wants to live without love?
Diōkō agapē. Run swiftly after, seek eagerly, earnestly endeavour to acquire perfect brotherly love, affection, good will. Pursue love.
What is love? Once again, the definition of flawless love is found in 1 Corinthians 13. “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” ~ verses 4-8a
But wait. There is something else we are told about love.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another… And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” ~ 1 John 4:7-11, 16-19 (emphasis mine)
God is love. So really, we can say, “Pursue God”. And that truly is the greatest of all things, to know:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” ~ John 3:16-17
For God so loved. He loves us all SO much that He gave His Son Jesus as our Passover Lamb, “to be the propitiation for our sins”. Because Jesus paid the full price for all our sins when He died on the cross, we are free to accept that as His gift to us. When we accept that gift, by God’s grace through faith in Jesus, we are forgiven and washed clean, “made perfect in love”, able to stand clothed in the righteousness of Jesus before the holy and perfect love ~ God Himself. And because Jesus conquered death when He rose from the grave, we can have life eternal with Him!
We really do “love Him because He first loved us”. And because He makes us “perfect in love”, we are able to love others with that love, by the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us. Not perfectly as God does, but still we try, striving to be like our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, shining His love into the darkness of the world around us, pointing others to the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
God pursues you and me. He loves us! Have you pursued Him? 🙂
“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” ~ Psalm 34:8