An Advent Devotion: What’s Love Got to Do With It?


Let’s face it. We live in a love-saturated culture. Everywhere you turn, you see television shows, movies, magazines, books, and other products designed to get us to buy/watch/read by appealing to our desire to tap into love. It’s especially bad in our music. While I don’t have the exact number, the great majority of songs on the radio have to do with some aspect of love. Can you identify these famous love songs from their lyrics?

Bittersweet memories that are all I’m taking with me. So goodbye, please don’t cry. We both know I’m not what you, you need…

Yup – you guessed it—”I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston.

How about:- There’s a calm surrender to the rush of day when the heat of the rolling world can be turned away, an enchanted moment, and it sees me through. It’s enough for this restless warrior just to be with you…

Too easy, right? (Can You Feel the Love Tonight? from The Lion King).

One last one—and a personal favorite of mine!
Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame, darlin’…

Of course, you know this one!But when it comes to love, this world has the wrong perspective.

Most of the “love” in this world comes down to “what you do for me”—it’s about how you make me feel. Because of this erroneous view, our emotional connections make it too easy to move on. When I don’t feel love for you, I’m going to walk away.

But real love doesn’t move on in difficult moments—it holds on and fights for the “other.”

If the world’s perspective is wrong, let’s look at the Bible’s perspective. One of the most famous chapters in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13. It’s often called “The Love Chapter.” In this section, Paul goes on…and on…and, well, you get it—all about LOVE.

Here’s the kicker: he uses verbs, not adjectives, to talk about love. Love is something to be done, not something to be felt. Here it is broken down with a bit of explanation about what Paul is trying to get at.

– Love is patient—it performs the positive act of waiting
– Love is kind—it responds to others with a tender heart
– Love does not envy—there are no intense negative feelings over another’s success
– Love is not boastful—not a pompous windbag
– Love is not conceited—not puffed up (puffing up the self puts others down)
– Love does not act improperly—refers to shameful behavior
– Love is not selfish—doesn’t seek personal advantage over the “other”
– Love is not provoked—doesn’t get caught up or riled up, not irritable
– Love does not keep a record of wrongs—don’t get historical!
– Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth—treat each other fairly
– Love bears all things—protects and covers up what is displeasing in others
– Love believes all things, hopes all things—trusting in God’s care and protection
– Love endures all things—love doesn’t bail out when times get tough
– Love never ends—despite trouble, hardship, or affliction, love perseveres

Jesus’ take on love is even more extreme. It’s not just about action—it’s about selfless action.
– John 15:13 – this is the greatest act of love, putting others ahead of yourself to the extreme.
– John 15:17 – Jesus’ direct command: love each other.

During Advent, we often focus on the wrong type of love. Love in Advent isn’t about feeling that it’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s recognizing that God loves us through his actions. He cares, so he acts accordingly. Christ coming to the world is the greatest act of love because it puts our needs as his priority.

The flip side to this Christmas miracle is that we are commanded to pick up and carry this definition of love! We can create God’s kingdom on earth, and it all starts with love—how we treat and prioritize others.

Not to be trite and cliché, but what the world needs now is love.

Not a schmaltzy, Coca-Cola version, but a godly, biblical version of love as concrete behavior that puts others first and puts ourselves second.

Chaplain Chris Linzey
Comments 4
  1. As I prepare my sermon today, we seem to come from the same direction. Psalm 85 verses 10 thru 13 “Steadfast Love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs up from the ground and righteousness looks down from the sky. Yes, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield it increase. Righteousness will go before him and make his footsteps a way.” Remembering in 2 Peter 1 we start with faith and end in Love. God Bless all on this second Sunday of Advent.

  2. Amen, and Well said.

    If we could just get Christians to understand Biblical love, we’d be well on our way correcting a lot of the dysfunction we see in the church today. We are called to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. We may not “feel” it, but we are called to “do” it.

  3. Thanks Chris! Our family just finished our prayer time using your devotional. It’s a great way to begin this holiday season. It’s so true. Many today don’t really know what it means to love or be loved.

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5 Questions for the Sermon

5 Questions for the Sermon

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