Saturday, April 23, 2011

This is love

When I was young, probably around grade 3 or 4, my classmates and I liked filling out autographs. An autograph is a notebook which contains questions about a person's profile, ideas, and personal experiences. It usually has 2-3 pages, depending on the space provided for the dedication part.

On page one, you'll see questions about personal profile. What is your name? What is your nickname? Where do you live? Telephone number? Favorite color? Favorite subject? What is your motto? Likes? Dislikes?

Then on the second page, the juicy and more personal questions are laid down. How do you describe yourself? What is your most embarrassing moment? What is your most unforgettable situation? Who is your first love? And the juiciest of all, admittedly the first answer I look at after I let my friends sign my autograph is the timeless question: who is your crush?

There is one question that is often not given much importance: define love. I realize now that the question is, more often than not, given crap answers because as children, we don't really know what it is or what answer to put. My friends used to indicate answers like "love is blind" or "love is the greatest thing of all". But do they even know that blind love means? At a young age, do they really think that love is the greatest thing of all? Greater than fame? Than candy? Than toys? Than popularity?

Fast forward to 20-ish years later, I now ask myself the same question. What is love? How do I define love? What IS love? As far as my knowledge will take me now, I say that love cannot be defined by words alone. It is something supernatural, something that is felt without any concrete reason. Love is continuing to care for someone without expecting anything in return. Love is doing and being good to other people even if they are not that way to us. Love is being forgiving to people who have wronged us. Love is teaching other people valuable lessons that they can carry through life. Love is to humble ourselves before the Lord. But ultimately, i think this is what love is.

Love is what Christ did for us on the Cross.

Let me share to you some lines in one of my favorite movies called Fireproof.

Dad: Caleb, if i ask you why you're so frustrated with Catherine, what would you say?

Caleb: She's stubborn. She makes everything difficult for me. She's ungrateful. She's constantly griping about something.

Dad: Has she thanked you the last 20 days?

Caleb: No. And you'd think after i washed the car, i've changed the oil, do the dishes, clean the house, that she would try to show me a little bit of gratitude. well, she doesn't. in fact, when i come home, she makes me feel like i'm an enemy. i'm not even welcome in my own home, Dad. That is what really ticks me off. Dad, for the last three weeks, i have bent over backwards for her. i have tried to demonstrate that i still care about this relationship. i bought her flowers, which she threw away. i have taken her insults and her sarcasm, but last night was it. i made dinner for her, i did everything i could to demonstrate that i care about her, to show value for her, and she spat on my face. she does not deserve this, Dad. i am not doing it anymore. how am i supposed to show love to somebody over and over and over who constantly rejects me?

Now relating that to real life, isn't what Catherine did to Caleb, we do to God? Even if we don't do something directly to God, but through our imperfect actions, our sins, we constantly reject God in our lives. and yet He loves us so much, He sent His Son to save us. The great exchange was done to give us the salvation we so do not deserve. Jesus did that to give us direct access to God. that is truly an enormous gesture. Now if that ain't love, then i don't know what love is.

"For God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Lord Jesus, thank you for the greatest expression of love. Thank you for dying for me on the Cross, for saving me, for winning the battle for me. I know I don't deserve this because I am imperfect and I am guilty of sin. You gave me the ultimate opportunity for my salvation, my ONLY opportunity for eternal peace when You chose to ransom me. You know that it is through You and ONLY through You that I can be saved. Thank you, Lord Jesus for making the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you that because of You, it is finished.

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