Summary: Anyone who intends to make heaven on the last day must demonstrate God’s unconditional love to others. The person must not mistreat others but demonstrate the agape love that God approves.
ATTRIBUTES OF TRUE LOVE
"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Many friends are usually around us when we have a crown of comfort or of honor upon our heads, or when we have our garments of praise and joy upon our backs, but when we are in sack cloth, in great affliction or in so much trouble, you hardly see those friends. Our friend's response to our outward conditions shows their extent of love towards us.
True love is hard to find these days and even harder to keep. We have to make it through a lot of wrong friends to get to the right ones, and even then it can still be difficult to tell if what you have is real. Just when you start to get comfortable, things can seem to head south. How do we cultivate true and lasting love? How can we tell it’s real, or when it’s just a waste of our time?
There are 5 attributes of TRUE and STRONG LOVE:
1. TRUE LOVE NEVER GROWS OLD
It is not weakened by time, but grows stronger and fresher with time. There is a saying that "Time is a great eater", it consumes all things but Eternity cant eat out true love, either to God or man. True love shall be old, but it never waxes cold nor vanishes away.
Does love ever grow old? No, it doesn't. For love is of God and God does not grow old; So, if God so loved us, we ought to love unreservedly the spouse and friend that He has given us to cherish and to hold.
True love is a holy, endearing principle from God's throne that finds a lodging place in the hearts of His people. We have true love for God when we walk after His commandments and frame our lives after it.
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. " (1 John 4:7-8)
2. TRUE LOVE KNOWS NO DISTANCE
It is not hindered by remoteness of place, love knows no local distance nor any boundaries. A friend in the farthest parts of the world, is as near to real affection, as he that lodges under the same roof, and eats bread with us everyday. Being out of sight shouldn't be out of mind for a real friend.
Distance is a test of love. Many will fail for those who cant withstand it, but for those who can, there's only one answer - TRUE LOVE
"Let all that you do be done with love." (1 Corinthians 16:14)
3. TRUE LOVE IS FRUITFUL
True love is never closed in on itself, seeking its own interests. Instead, love goes out, seeking the good of the other.it does not confine itself to fine expressions and complements. Love without works is dead, and as that faith which justifies, so the love of a just person is justified by work. "Brethren, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:18); that is, let our deeds speak the truth of our love; it is an easy matter to say, but it is a great matter to do or to deed our love. Much love may be expressed by the tongue but actions are the complement of love.
4. TRUE LOVE IS FULL OF COMPASSION
True Love is being afflicted in the afflictions of those we love; it is so far from departing from those that are burdened, that it bears a part of the burden with them; it weeps with those that weep (Romans 12:15), and causes us to remember those that are in bonds as bound with them, and those that suffer adversity, as being ourselves also in the body (Hebrew 13:1-2). Those who are of one heart share (their losses and enjoyments) in what befalls any one.
True love does not make us blind, so that we cannot distinguish between the courtesies and discourtesies of our friends, but it makes us so clear-sighted, that we can easily distinguish between our friends and their discourtesies.
5. TRUE LOVE IS NOT TIME BOUND
"A friend loves at all times" (Proverbs 17:17), He is not ashamed to profess or express his love at any time. He loves his friend in good report and ill report, in honor and in dishonor, (if that dishonor didn't rise from his dishonesty). He is neither ashamed of his friends outward condition. "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." (1 John 4:11)