Love Measured

Luke 7:47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”

We often measure our worth in calculated amounts. Success can be measured in money, possessions, fame, power, and influence. But, God has a standard by which we are to judge these things. 

Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”

In relationships, we will try to quantify the amount of love we may possess or the love others have for us. Some live by the axiom of, “What have you done for me lately?” This type of love is fickle and unstable.

Some have been wounded, who lives with a chip on their shoulder. They are waiting for the moment when the other person fails to unleash their anger stored up for just this moment.

Most would look at these scenarios and say that this is no way to live. Yet, we fall into these traps laid by our enemy. 

Jesus gives us the criteria for determining our love for Him. 

If we were to be asked this question by God, “Do you love me?” most, if not all, would say, “Yes, I love you.”

Simon, the Pharisee in this account, had invited Jesus to his home for a meal. While at the feast, many believe that it was Mary Magdalene that came in and began to weep at Jesus’ feet. This behavior repulsed many at the table. Yet, Jesus knew what was in Simon’s heart.

Jesus pointed out to Simon:

Luke 7:44-46 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.”

In Jesus’ day, it was customary that when you had a guest to your home, you would provide water for washing their feet before the meal. It showed humility and showed your guest they were worthy of being served.

A kiss on the cheek is a form of reverence and honor. One would anoint their guest with a perfumed ointment was a mark of hospitality. Jesus points out that Simon did none of these things. 

The comparison Jesus makes to this woman’s actions to Simon’s lack is very telling.

Jesus sums up His illustration by quantifying love with forgiveness. 

Luke 7:47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”

We wrongly compare forgiveness and love by the number of sins forgiven. When, in fact, it is how we view the forgiveness we’ve received as the motivator of our love that we put into action.

Our sin of unbelief is what condemns us to Hell. 

Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Indeed, we who have sinned in abundance feel more readily or easily loving toward the One who has forgiven our debt. But if that one sin of unbelief is all it would take to condemn us, shouldn’t we all have the same level of love for being forgiven?

We are truly blessed to be able to look back at the price paid for our sins.

The woman at Jesus’ feet heard the beautiful truth that her sins could be forgiven. We are witnesses to her deep conviction and repentance. Her thankfulness and gratitude were shown in her actions.

Our actions reveal our love. The Greek words for our one word ‘love’ are beneficial.

Philia – brotherly or friendly love

Agape – Unconditional love

Eros – Sensual or passionate love between a man and a woman

Storge – Love within a family

Xenia – Hospitality

In 1 Corinthians, we see another word translated into English – charity, meaning love in action. John tells us that we can say we love God, but our works reveal the truth.

 1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”

We cannot walk on from our salvation without some fruit of transformation revealed in how we treat others.

We must not allow that love that began when first saved to dissipate or grow cold.

Often, if we do not maintain and sustain that love, we will think our service a duty or a chore to be completed instead of loving service reflective of the love we have because we have been forgiven. 

If you are a saved child of God, you would readily admit that you love God. But we have to ask ourselves, is that love is shown in my actions, my service, and ministry toward God? Do I do things because I have to, because I am commanded, or is because I want to show my love in all that I do?

God’s love for us should cause an action on our part.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

The depth, breadth, and height of the love God has for us are immeasurable. The love we have for Him is reflected in our obedience, service, and actions every day. 

If we say that we love God, we should keep His commandments.

If we say that we love God, we should love our neighbor as ourselves.

If we say that we love God, we should glorify Him in our body, which we present to Him a living sacrifice daily. 

There is a measure by which we can judge our love for God.

Let’s take a look at our life today and see if there is a way to love Him more!

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