This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:10 (New Living Translation)
Our world has a confused definition of love. Hollywood sensualizes it, social media idolizes it, literature romanticizes it, yet all of us crave it in our relationships. Our need for love is built into the core of who we are, but we often struggle to feel satisfied because human love can never fully meet our expectations. Parents, spouses, children, and friends all disappoint us at some point, and we eventually fail them as well, no matter what we promise each other.
When we approach God, our inability to live up to his expectations for relationship is poignant. We are innately bent towards self-reliance, and given the choice between submitting to God's will out of love for him and asserting our own desires, we overwhelmingly choose ourselves. That's what makes God's love so revolutionary, fulfilling, and, in John's words, "real." His love for us moved him to remove the barriers that keep us from relationship with him by sacrificing himself on our behalf. The same love that sent Jesus to the cross prompts and enables us to love others with selflessness and truth -- to really love.