God’s Word tells us that God is love and that He wants the world to be filled with the same: “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”1
God’s love is seen in action in the Gospels, in the way that Jesus lived: from healing the blind to raising the dead, from caring about children to washing dirty feet, from feeding the multitudes to teaching His followers, and finally, from dying on the cross for our sins to rising from the dead to give us hope that one day we will do the same.
When I was a wedding pastor in Japan, I discovered that the best way to sum up how newlywed couples should love one another is found in 1 Corinthians 13, which is sometimes known as the love chapter. It begins by telling us what love isn’t—selfish, proud, or rude—then it goes on to tell us how love never gives up and never fails!
Many people tend to be skeptical of love until they see some kind of evidence. In 2009, George Vaillant, the chief investigator of the Grant Study, which tracked 268 Harvard undergraduates for a period of 80 years with the goal of finding what makes us happy, stated that its findings could be summarized as “Happiness is love. Full stop.”2
On another note, a book published in 2011 called God and the Afterlife3 has given us more evidence by interviewing thousands of people who had near-death experiences. When asked, “During your experience, did you encounter any specific information/awareness regarding love?” 58.1% of those volunteers said yes. Here is a sampling of their quotes:
“Love was everywhere. It permeated the afterlife. It was incredible.”
“I was loved unconditionally despite my faults and fears.”
“No human can ever love with the love I felt in that light. It is all-consuming, all-forgiving. Nothing matches it. It is like the day you looked into the eyes of your child for the first time magnified a million times. It’s indescribable.”
These firsthand accounts tell us a lot about God’s love for each of us and how big it is! May we do our part to share His truth and love with others so they can know and experience it for themselves.