What Is Love?
By Dennis Love
You have probably seen the Shriners Children’s commercials on TV. Shriners Children’s is a network of non-profit medical facilities across North America. Children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, cleft lip, and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. Care for children is usually provided until age 18, although in some cases, it may be extended to age 21. The hospitals are owned and operated by Shriners International whose members are known as Shriners. The current advertising campaign for the healthcare system features the tagline, “Love to the Rescue.” Give and you will receive a free “Love to the Rescue” blanket.
One very heart-touching commercial asked a very specific question to young children with various health-related conditions. That question is, “What is Love?” These children reply with numerous answers which go as follows.
- Love is calling the Love Doctor.
- Love is somebody that likes or likes someone.
- Love is when you make people laugh.
- Love is being able to stand.
- Love is dancing.
- Love is being independent.
- Love is a new smile.
- Love is a new prosthetic leg.
- Love is jumping up.
- Love is candy.
- Love is puppies.
- Love is playing checkers with my mom.
Then the commercial concludes by saying you can call or go online to send your love to the rescue. It’s a heart-moving commercial but it really doesn’t answer the question, “What is Love?” The answer to this question is found in John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We use the word love in so many ways today. “I love my wife.” “I love my family.” “I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.” “I love to hunt.” “I love football.”
However, the word “Loved” used here indicates love to the highest degree. It’s a love that never ceases. What God says in Jeremiah 31:3 helps us get a glimpse into this love. There He says, “Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love. . .” The Hebrew word for “everlasting” means “beyond a vanishing point.” In other words, God’s love for us is out of sight! You don’t need to call or go online to send your love to the rescue. The love to the rescue has already been sent to you. All you need to do is believe it and receive it. And once you do, then you can answer the question, “What is Love?”
Dr. Dennis Love is the Associational Missions Strategist for the Blue Ridge Baptist Association in McDowell County. Dr. Love has been in full-time ministry work for 31 years. He and his wife Vicki have been married for almost 42 years, and they have lived in Marion for almost 8 years. They have two sons, four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren. He can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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