The Beatles told us that “all we need is love.” But whose love is it that we need? You see, love is woven into the very fiber of our being. There is a great hunger and a deeply ingrained need for it. People go to great lengths to obtain love – in almost any form – even if it’s momentary or not all they had hoped for. In a time where love has taken more modernized shapes, it can be difficult to assess what it even looks like to begin with.
In a generation that has become so sensitive to words like “Jesus” and “God”, love has been reduced to an amoeba of sorts—flexible enough to cater to everyone’s definition of the word. It’s been left to individual interpretation so as to not offend anyone. So much as mentioning the words “God” and “love” in the same sentence subjects you to immediate scrutiny and rolling eye-balls. Yet “love” in the form of lust, money and power sells like hotcakes!
If anything has been made clear, it is that the love of mankind is often, if not always, conditional. It has a limit and it is fleeting. The moment the bearer of that love is hurt, offended or drawn to something else, love comes to a halt. We find ourselves trying to meet individual criteria to attain the love of people who are just as broken and in need of love as we are. We often bring ourselves to this place of humiliation in order to receive their mercies and forgiveness.
It is always staggering to see how much time and resources we spend reading books and magazines trying to understand love…only to end up in therapy sessions because it didn’t work out. The Bible is the only book you’ll ever need to know what true love is, but that’s where things get tricky! Admitting that the answers to your love questions are in the Bible would require forfeiting your own understanding and that’s not so simple, is it? Few people are willing to give up their viewpoints, and it is in the midst of that pride and desire to “express who we are,” that we end up forfeiting the greatest love we’ll ever know.
Imagine being insanely thirsty & going out to drink water from the ocean, knowing that you have cases of fresh, bottled water at home! It’s ludicrous, but this is what we’re doing when we seek pure love from man. There is a source of the freshest, purest water we’ll ever find and his name is Jesus. He tells us that “those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life” (John 4:14 ). So Christ doesn’t merely want to satisfy your immediate thirst, he quenches your thirst once and for all!
Jesus offered us one simple way to do life—through him—but we insist on doing it our own way. Jesus is perfect and his ways are perfect. Our ways are not only sinful by nature, but they’re also extremely diverse—further adding to the chaos. The world is in the calamity that it’s in because man is full of “self.” At some point, in both the church and the outside world, we distorted Christ. He became what we wanted him to be, instead of us becoming what he wanted us to be. Our distortion of Christ was followed by our distortion of love. If we lived according to John 3:30, “He [God] must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less”, the chances of the world being a purer, love-filled place, would be greater by far.
“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us” (1 John 3:16a). True love is sacrificial; it is selfless; it is unconditional; it is eternal and it does not come from man. True love is Jesus Christ, who gave his life for us, though we are undeserving. He loves us all so much, that even now as we continue to remove him from every crevice of this nation, he will be there when we fall. He will lift us and heal our wounds, as a parent would his child.
His love is unfailing, no matter what we say, think or do. He loves us. Stop drinking salty ocean water and fighting for table scraps. Drink the living water that is Jesus and dine at the table with the King. The Beatles were only partially right, love is all we need, but it’s only God loves that truly satisfies.