Love: a God-powered condition of the heart and mind

By Dave Henning / November 29, 2017

“Jesus understood love as a God-powered condition of the heart and mind in which we will the good of everyone we meet.”- John Ortberg

“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s people to grasp how side and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”- Ephesians 3:17-18 (NIV)

John Ortberg continues Chapter 2 of I’d Like You More . . . as he discusses the third myth about intimacy.

Myth #3: Intimacy and love are the same thing.  Although love makes intimacy possible, love and intimacy aren’t synonymous.  Specifically, love isn’t primarily:

  • a feeling
  • desire
  • closeness
  • being agreeable or doing what someone wants you to do

So, John then asks, what is love?  In Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas stated that to love somebody means to will their good.  However, Pastor Ortberg notes, that means more than showing good intentions.  As John explains:

“To love someone means both to will and to work for that person to become who God created them to be.”

In contrast, we often dispense love disparately.  We find it easy to love one person, yet hard to love someone else.  Most noteworthy, though, Jesus didn’t qualify love that way.  Thus, Pastor Ortberg describes Jesus’ notion:

” . . . that we are to become loving people.  It is a condition of being human — like being healthy — in which we are so firmly rooted in God’s love for us and increasingly free of sin (which always opposes love) that we are ready to will the good of any person, regardless of who that person is or how he or she feels about us.”

In conclusion, in order to function as a loving person, people may see us as just the opposite – unloving.  As a result, our love must rest on a stable source.  That source, God’s love, allows us to love in a risky way.  Though no one can prevent us from loving them, they can prevent intimacy.  At times, love indeed goes one way.

Today’s question: What Scriptures develop love as a God-powered condition of your heart and mind?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: Intimacy – a big feeling built on small moments”

About the author

Dave Henning

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