True love endures to the end, but the sort of love that endures is not a human kind of love but a love that only originates with God. “Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, jealousy is as severe as Sheol; its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, nor will rivers overflow it; if a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, it would be utterly despised.” (Song of Solomon 8:6-7) Not only does this scripture attest to the enduring and overcoming quality of love, but it also characterizes love as a flaming fire. Solomon understood that true love is the very flame of God. Love is inspired by God, love is fueled and flamed by God, and love is the very substance of God.
How does one nurture this flame of God? How does one cultivate a love that endures through all time? The secret is found in the counsel that God gave to the church at
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:2-3) When we live according to God’s commandments we will be living a life that expresses the love of God to other people. If we are to develop a heart that loves with the love of God then we must continually draw near to Him and must be willing to live in obedience to His voice. If we do not know how to love, the Spirit and Word of God will guide and instruct us. If we grow weary in love, God Himself will strengthen us and His word will encourage us. Love cannot exist apart from God and His word.
“But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:17-18) When we ignore those in need, our hearts begin to close. Over time, a life of indifference to others will result in a heart whose love has grown stone cold. We must allow our hearts to be distracted by the needs of others and, when it is in our power to do so, we must allow our care to be transformed into action. This is why John said to “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18) Love that is an emotion only will never stand the test of time. Remember, love is a verb. If we are to develop a heart of enduring love then we must regularly express that love to others in tangible ways; we must demonstrate live in ways that it can be seed.
“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16) While many of us may be willing to lay down our life for our spouse or for a dear friend, fewer of us are willing to lay down our wills and plans for them. Laying down our lives is something we do everyday, in the little things of life. Zig Ziggler once said that we should do something everyday for someone else that they could have done for themselves. What Zig Ziggler understood is that love is often shown in the little things. It does not take some grand deed or elaborate gift to express love to someone, love can be seen in the everyday things we do for others. When we capitalize on the everyday opportunities to express love to each other we cultivate a love that will endure, a love that will stand the test of time.