Agape Love

Aug 12th, 2017

We hear a lot about “love” in our world. “Love this… food, show, game etc. Fill in the blank. Or people saying “I love you”. I think the word love is a very powerful word that is very over used and said far too casually. But what is Love? The dictionary definition of love is “a powerful emotion felt for another person manifesting itself in a deep affection, devotion or sexual desire.  The Bible also has a great summary of love in 1st Corinthians 13:4-8a. Love can also be described as God’s regard for all of His creation. Except God’s love is a different kind of love. God’s love is true love, its unconditional love. AGAPE (uhGOPay) Love. Agape is the Greek word for unconditional love and it’s the only true love. The New Testament uses this word “agape” to describe God’s unselfish love for us, and it’s that love that was demonstrated in the acts of Jesus and his willingness to go to the cross.

The only way love can last a life time is if it’s unconditional. The truth is this love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.  “God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) God’s love is an enduring love, sticking with us even when we make choices not to continue with him.  His love is a blanket love, loving us before our surrender and after our death. It’s an accepting love, and it does not see incorrect beliefs or imperfect lifestyles as a hindrance to being loved.

Love is one of life’s most powerful motivators and has far greater depth and meaning than most people realize. Love is one of the foundations of our Christian faith.  It always does what is best for others and can empower us to face the greatest problems. We are born with a lifelong thirst for Love. Our hearts disparately need love like our lungs need oxygen. Love leads to inner joy. Qualities of love in 1st Corinthians included being patient, kind, not selfish, thoughtful, not ruse, not irritable, not jealous.

Love is Patient.  “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. “ (Ephesians 4:2)  True love for another will inspire you to become a patient person.  When you choose to be patient, you respond in a positive way to a negative situation. You are slow to anger.  Patience makes us wise. We do not rush to judgement but listen to what others are saying. Patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance

Love is Kind. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you Ephesians 4:32 Kindness is love in action. Kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance. Love makes you kind.  Kindness makes you likeable.  People want to be around you when you are kind. Kindness breaks down into four basic core ingredients gentleness, helpfulness, willingness and initiative. Jesus creatively described the kindness of love in his parable of the “Good Samaritan” found in Luke 10.

Love is not selfish. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honour”-(Romans 12:10) We live in a world that is enamoured with “SELF” the culture around us teaches us to focus on our appearance, our feelings and our personal desires as the top priority. The goal it seems is to chase the highest level of our own personal happiness possible.  Selfishness basically means the complete opposite of love.

Almost ever sinful action ever committed can be traced back to selfish motives. Selfishness is a trait we hate in others but justify in ourselves. Love is never satisfied except in the welfare of others. You can’t be acting out of real love and selfishness at the same time. If you find it hard to sacrifice your own desires to benefit others, then you may have to admit you have a deeper problem with selfishness than you want to admit.

Love is thoughtful.  Love thinks. It is not a mindless feeling that rides on waves of emotion and falls asleep mentally. It keeps busy in thought, knowing that loving thoughts precede loving actions.  If you don’t learn to be thoughtful, you end up regretting missed opportunities to demonstrate love. Thoughtlessness is a silent enemy to loving relationships.  Love requires thoughtfulness

Love is not rude.  Nothing irritates others as quickly as being rude. Rudeness is unnecessarily saying and doing things that are unpleasant for other persons to be around.  To be rude is to act unbecoming, embarrassing or irritating.  Bottom line genuine love minds its manners. There are two reasons we are rude to people- Ignorance or selfishness.

Love is not irritable. Love is hard to offend and quick to forgive. How easily do you get irritated or offended? When love is under pressure it doesn’t turn sour.  True love does not get angry or hurt unless there is legitimate and just reason in the sight of God. Ask yourself am I a calming breeze, or a storm waiting to happen?

Love is not jealous.  Jealousy is one of the strongest drives known to humans. It comes from the root word for ZEAL and means “to burn with intense fire”.  There are two forms. Legitimate jealousy based on love and Illegitimate Jealousy based on envy.  The Bible describes God as having a righteous legitimate jealousy for His people. He doesn’t want us to let anything take precedence over Him in our lives and in our hearts. (Deuteronomy 4:24)

Love cherishes all things, Love is honourable, Love seeks to understand, Love let’s the other win and fights fair. Any one who is married or dating will understand this one. Most of all Love never fails. We fail in Love but love never fails

Love is SATISFIED in GodGod can always be trusted to deliver his promises. Others will let you down. God can give you inner peace. GOD can make you feel loved

God can make you feel adequate.  God is the only one in your life that can never change. His faithfulness, His truth, and His promises to His children will always remain. That’s why you need to seek him everyday. Our only reason for not doing this is because we don’t really trust God to supply what we need. And yet the bible says “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4) God is love, when we seek Him first, loving Him first, making our relationship with Him top priority, He promises to supply us with what we really need, which actually is all it really takes to satisfy us.  God is your everyday supply, of everything you need.

Matthew R. Marshall