Wednesday, June 10, 2009

LOVE! What is it?

The dictionary gives many definitions of LOVE:
· profoundly tender, passionate affection
· feeling of warm personal attachment
· sexual desire or its gratification
· to have a strong liking for

This is a Disclaimer:
I am not an expert in “love” – be it eros, phileo, or agape – however, God has changed me so – and I have become a “lover not a fighter”…
May this devotional speak to you today!

The other day I called a friend to tell her I was thinking of her and praying for her… she was not at home so I spoke to her machine!!! :)
Before I hung up I said, “Love yah!”
She sent me an email the next day saying she had been away; at the end she says, “Thanks for lovin’ me! Cuz I knows yah duz.”

This got me thinking about ‘LOVE” – imagine.
There was a time in my life – not all that long ago - that I would never have told anyone except my family that I loved them! Go Figure!
God has changed my heart so much!
How thankful I am that He has!

You’re probably aware of the Greek words for love:
· eros – has to do with sensual passions
· phileo – fondness based in the heart; sentiment; brotherly love – “feelings”
· agape – self-less; choosing to seek the best for others; deciding to act in a loving fashion –“ not a feeling”

Agape love has a divine nature – it comes from having the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. It is totally independent of the object of its favor. I don’t have to “like” the activities of a person, but I make a conscious choice to treat them with compassion and respect!
There is no natural “AGAPE” in man! It is not found in the unsaved – nor can it be understood by the unsaved!

As I write that I certainly can see how that was a truth in my life many, many years ago! As a nurse I had a job to do – and yes – there were some clients I became very attached to (phileo) – but were my actions self-less? I “cared” … and I was kind and respectful – but at that time I had no idea of the depth of agape love.

The greatest example of Agape love is John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

God loved me – you – so much that He sent His Son to die for us!

And He sent the Holy Spirit to empower us:
2 Timothy 1: 7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.”
The Holy Spirit gives us love – love that is to be directed towards other people.

How my spirit hurts when I see someone who claims to be a Christ follower not showing agape love to fellow Christians; as well as to the non-Christian; when compassion and respect are not part of their actions… it is a CHOICE to live in agape love!

I pray we would all evaluate our relationships – our actions – and see where we have failed – God has called us to a life of AGAPE!
On a scale of 1 – 10 where are you today?
· with your spouse
· your children
· your siblings
· friends
· neighbors
· co-workers
· strangers
· people you know who are living with known sin in their lives

It breaks my heart when I counsel with people who have decided to make the choice to become selfish in their marriages rather than remain self-less; who have more agape love for their neighbor than they do for their spouse; who refuse to show agape love until the spouse does something first. Oh, dear God, help us!

Loved ones!
Reflect on God’s love for you today. Remember what He has done for you; where He has brought you from; how He is changing you; and beseech Him to fill you to overflowing with the Spirit and His love for all people.

Just think – what a world this would be if we lived in agape love daily!

Blessings on you!
May His peace and grace be with you!

1 comment:

  1. NOt sure if you can understand or relate...but as a pastor's wife, the feeling I have right now of being on the verge of leaving a church that is filled with people who did not have agape love for others is immense. We are moving to a new church, and already seeing many many signs of agape love from the new church. my point....is that you are so right, there are many people in today's churches who call themselves Christians but do not act in love toward each other both inside and outside the church, even to the church staff!!! ouch. Pain. Suffering. That's what I'm recovering from.


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