Real Love

Song of Solomon 8:6-7

Five characteristics of love are described in these two verses:

Omnipotent power: Love is „strong as death.” Death is so strong that none can escape its grip. (Heb 9:27 „And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”). Love is such a strong motivator that it moves men to die for those they love. Even animals willingly face death to protect their offspring. Christian martyrs, because of their love for Jesus, „loved not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11). God’s love for sinners is „strong as death” (John 3:16 „For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” I Corinthians 15:3 „Christ died for our sins”).

Preserving power: Love produces jealousy which is „as cruel as the grave.” Love will not permit a rival to steal away the object of love. The word „cruel” means unyielding. Once the „grave” gets its occupant it never escapes. We do not allow anyone to steal away the object of our love. Neither does God allow us to be stolen from His love (Romans 8:38,39 „For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”).

Transforming power: Love transforms the heart as „coals of fire which has a most vehement flame” melt metals and remove its impurities. Love softens our hearts and removes the wrong motives from it. Without love we are harsh towards others and often have hidden motives in our dealings with them.

Overcoming power: „Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.” Problems, hindrances, discouragements, fears and other obstacles cannot stop love. On the contrary, true love is often strengthened by such things. Nothing could stop Jesus from going to the Cross to die for our sins. „For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19: 10).

Incorruptible power: Love cannot be bought nor sold. It is priceless. Any attempt to buy it will instantly destroy it. „If a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.” Yet many people try to buy God’s love. Some try to buy it by monetary donations. Some by reciting prayers. Some by hurting themselves during religious festivals. Others by doing „good deeds” (Romans 3:12 „there is none that doeth good, no, not one,” Isaiah 64:6 „all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags’) God GAVE His love to us (John 3:16) Therefore, we can only receive His love – we can never purchase it (Ephesians 2:8,9 „For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”).

Conclusion: The only reasonable response to one who has loved us is to love in return. Any other response will be unacceptable. God says „My son, give me thine heart” (Proverbs 23:26). „My beloved is mine, and I am his” (Song 2:16). True Christian love to God is not dependent on what He gives us (Job 1:21, 13:15), neither can it be sold for a price.

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