Today I attended the Bible study that a local church has been holding here on campus on the second floor of the science building. I've been going for several weeks now (probably a month or two) and have been enjoying them immensly. Two weeks ago we started John Piper's "God is the Gospel" video series. Today we watched Lesson 3: The Love of God When God is the Gospel. This is what I came away from this session with:
Philippians 1:20-23 "...according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;"
From what Paul says here, true, biblical love become rather clear. Dig into the passage. Read the whole chapter. Pauls says if I live, then I can serve God, which is the ultimate expression of love. Love is sacrifice. Biblical love involves sacrificing yourself to serve God, and to serve others, and by serving others, we serve God. In the video Piper says something along the lines of, "Love means sacrificing whatever it takes, even if it is at the expense of you or your brother, to give God glory." (he used John 11:1-6 as his basis for this statement, and he said it better than I have). Jesus stayed two more days so that when he went Lazarus he would be dead. Why? So that he could raise him from the dead and give God and Himself glory (v. 4).
Jesus is our example of how we are to be. If Jesus 'sacrificed' the life of his friend by staying that he would die merely so God would get the glory, should we not also make sacrifices? If we truly love God we will seek a relationship with Him and we will seek to always give Him glory. We will not perfectly be able to do this, but that is our goal: "What is the cheif end of man? Man's cheif end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."
In our loving of our fellow man we must make sacrifices of ourselves in such a way that it helps and/or encourages those people to glorify God, as well as enables us to give God glory. Let me pose this question. If our love of another (brother, sister, mother, father, cousin, friend, boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse) does not help us and them glorify God, do you think it's true love?