Love is a freaky word. It represents a weird quirk of human language in that it occupies the status of both noun and verb. Love is both a thing, and an action. Consider the two following sentences:
She loved me immensely.
He blessed me immensely with his love.
In the first sentence, love is a verb, but in the second sentence it is a noun. In the first sentence it is an action of blessing, but in the second, it is the blessing. To love someone is to bless them. To be loved by someone is to receive a blessing from them. In either case, love is best measured by behavior and action.
In its noun form, it is a wonderful thing. Paul tells us that it is a kind thing, a patient thing; that it is a thing which doesn’t boast, or envy, or dishonor others. It isn’t marked by pride or selfishness, and it doesn’t become easily angered or keep track of mistakes (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). As a noun, it isn’t something that you can necessarily see with your eyes, or feel with your touch. Instead, you feel it in the bonds of relationships, and the melding of hearts and spirits when someone commits something about themselves to you.
As a verb, it means commitment. She loved me immensely, means that she was committed to my wellbeing in large and great ways. Commitment is always measured by action and steadfastness. The person who truly loves you, loves you through trials, tribulations and celebrations. And it is this love that Peter tells us is a measure of – or a result of – our obedience to the truth. In fact, he tells us that our lives should be marked by a sincere and deep, earnest, or fervent love for one another (1 Peter 1:22). In other words, our commitment to one another should be intense. How intense? John says that it should be so intense and sincere that we would be willing to lay down our lives for one another (1 John 3:16-18). In what ways can you daily lay down your life for your spouse, your child, or your Christian brother or sister?