The word love is a universal affection that’s used throughout the world by humans to express how they feel about something or someone. However, when you ask someone, what is love, and what it means to them individually, you will hear their own interpretation of what love is. If you live long enough you will also witness that people misuse the word love for their own selfish purposes.
For those who believe that God is the creator of all, know that, Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made, (John 1:3). If God is and there’s no doubt that He is the creator of all, then we should know what love means to Him.
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” 1 John 4:8
Only through God’s inspired word and the help of the Holy Spirit can we understand the will and purposes of God’s love towards us in Jesus. That no “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” (John 15:13).
For Jesus to call us friends is a major profound statement. “We were hostile toward Him, alienated from Him and opposed to His lordship over our lives,” (Roman 8:5). Many have received these words in their heart with all the best intensions, but fail to truly understand what those words coming from Jesus himself really meant. According to Webster’s Dictionary, “A friend is a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection”.
Following John 15:13, verses 14-16, Jesus makes the distinction that His love is much more than sacrificial, but also conditional;
14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
Jesus makes it clear that if we are His friends, in a relationship of love between Him, we are commanded to know and do the Master’s business, which is the Father’s business. We will all give an account when Jesus returns with what he has entrusted us with. Jesus gives His disciples a parable to help them understand what He was trying to relate to them—
Luke 19: 12-27;
12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ 14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ 15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ 18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’ 19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’ 20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’ 24 “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’
25 “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’ 26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.
Before Jesus returns to establish His full kingdom on earth, He wants His listeners to know what they are supposed to be doing in His absence. As a deposit, He has given us the Holy Spirit to live in us to do His work. We are not supposed to sit around waiting for Him to return. Rather, we are to be actively doing business for Him with what He has entrusted us with. The day will certainly come when He will return. At that time, each servant must give an account for what he has done.
We need not ask God what He can do for us, but what can we do for Him. We can learn from the disciples when they asked, what shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, this is the work of God that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent, (John 6:28-29).
At the heart of Christianity is the grace of God. Paul wrote to Christians at Ephesus and said, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them," (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Efrain Cardona is an Elder and ordained licensed minister at Abundant Grace Christian Church in Rutherford NJ. Serves as the leader for the church’s Men’s Ministry, anointed to operate in various spiritual gifts; teach the word of God, prayer intercessor, and unique discernment in the prophetic.