Does the world need more love to thrive? The world uses love to legitimize any sexual relationship: between a man and a woman out of wedlock, a man and several women, two men, two women, an adult and a consenting minor (regardless of gender — known as pedophilia), or even between human beings and animals. It appears to me the problem in our world today is not the absence of love, but its definition.

According to Scripture, love is more than sexual attraction. When applied to God, it refers to a deep-seated commitment. Moses challenged the people of Israel, . . . What doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? (Deuteronomy 10:12–13) Loving God means having a healthy respect for Him, walking in His ways, serving Him, and obeying His Word. It is impossible to love God and at the same time cherish sin.

Our love for God (or its absence) will affect all of our other relationships. It will help us set guidelines which protect our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual purity. It will foster commitment in our interpersonal relationships, especially the relationships we share with our spouses and children. This is what our society needs more than anything else — not more tolerance toward sin, but more commitment to God and His truth.

Love is never an excuse to sin against God. When confronted with the world’s ideal of love, we must ask ourselves this penetrating question, do I love God more? Someday you may be tempted to compromise. Your answer to the love question will reveal the quality of your relationship with God and ultimately, with others.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.