WHAT IS TRUE LOVE?
by Jerry McGlothlin
What is true love?
Millions of songs have been written over the millennium about true love. Some of the most common lyrics sound something like this, “I need you, I want you, I love you.”
So does needing someone and wanting someone constitute true love?
No. Needing and wanting someone may be showing the ‘desire’ for love. But true love is much deeper and involves trust, commitment, and obedience. Did I say obedience?
The definition of true love is found in the bible in the gospel of John, chapter 14, and reiterated again in First John.
And there are TWO KEYS or KEYWORDS to unlocking true love.
In chapter 14 verse 12 of John, the secret of love and intimacy is revealed in the single ancient Greek word:… PISTEO (pist-YOO-oh). Yes, the first key to unlocking true love is Pisteo. So in our quest to find true love let’s find out what pisteo means and embrace its concepts that we can finally, at long last, enjoy true love and flow in its intimacy. Wow! Is it really that simple? In a keyword: Yes. And that keyword is pisteo.
So since the first key to unlocking true love is pisteo, do you think it is vitally important to find out what that keyword means? Pisteo is frequently translated trust or belief but it goes far deeper than that. Pisteo actually means to “entrust your well being unto another,” and in this case the “other” to whom you are entrusting your well being is Yeshua, the anointed Savior and Messiah of the Jews, and also to non-Jews who are grafted into the vine of Yeshua who is, perfectly connected to Father Yahweh, creator of all people and creator of all things and creator of true love and from whom all true love flows…and by the way, it is impossible to truly love another person apart from the true love flowing from Yahweh through you to another person. And it is impossible for another person to truly love you apart from Yahweh’s love flowing through that person into you. In context the keyphrase from John chapter 14 verse 12 is: “Entrust your well being unto Yeshua.”
And this definition of love is reiterated in First John, chapter 5 verse 3 that reads: “For this is the love of Yahweh, that we keep His commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” So, don’t fall for half-stepping Christians, not walking in love, who say that following Yahweh’s commandments is legalism. You tell them it is not legalism. It is love.
So once we grasp what it means to truly entrust our well being, our very essence, our very life to the Only One to whom that trust is fully warranted, and we flow in that resolute commitment, we are ready for the second key to unlock true love.
That second keyword to unlocking true love is: … TEREO (teh-REE-oh). In John chapter 14 verse 15 it reads, “If you love me, tereo my commandments,” frequently translated “keep” my commandments.
Ah, you ask, “Is love conditional?” The answer to the question of whether or not love is conditional? The answer is and emphatic…. YES!
It’s a divine paradox. Unconditional love is conditional! How can that be? Messiah Savior Yeshua laid down his life unconditionally to save those who conditionally love him back by the act of pisteo, to entrust their well being unto Him. So, reciprocating love to the One who offered us perfect unconditional love is conditional on our parts in that we make the choice to entrust and commit ourselves and our well being to Him. In John 3: 16 it says that Father Yahweh, our Creator, so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that he who PISTEOs himself to His son Yeshua shall not perish but have everlasting life, and as implied, also flow in everlasting love.
Isn’t that beautiful? All we have to do is respond to Perfect heavenly love. But to put this in perspective, let’s come down to earth for a moment for an example. It doesn’t matter if you are the most handsome, richest, nicest, most loving person in the world. You still can’t just march up to someone, even if they are the poorest, unbecoming simpleton on earth, and say "You're going to be my spouse—you must love me." No! That is not how love works. One party loves and the other party reciprocates. For you know, regardless of how wonderful you are, the other person might just not be that into you! Think about it. In life most people in the world strikes out. Strike one: They reject the perfect Creator of the universe. Strike two: they reject His perfect Savior Son. Strike three: They reject His perfect Ruash ha-Kodesh Spirit, translated frequently as The Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost, Who is here to guide and comfort us. So if most people reject perfection and perfect love, should it shock you if they reject you or your imperfect love?
Let’s summarize and conclude. First we need to flow in true love with and from our Father Creator through Messiah Savior Yeshua who offered true love to us to reciprocate through trust, commitment and obedience. Next we need to offer our unconditional love to others who either will or will not trust us. If they truly trust us as unto Yahweh, it is a love that is likely to last. But if they only ‘want us’ or ‘need us’ or have warm gushy feeeeeelings for us, what will happen when those feeeeeeelings wear off or wane? You get another song about love gone wrong and dreams dashed on the rocks. So let’s remember to give and receive true love to others through the true love of our true love and Rock, Yeshua.
Now that’s love worth having and sharing.
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