It’s February, the month of love. But what is love? We use the same word to describe how we feel about pizza, dogs, family members, our sports teams, and God. The Bible uses different words that all get translated to “love.” The one we are commanded to do is agape. Agape love is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love. More than a feeling, it is an act of the will, a deliberate decision. It is doing what is best for a person despite your feelings.
Agape love does not come naturally and so Jesus tells his followers, that all people would know they were His followers if they had this kind of love for each other. (John 13:35) It is so counter-cultural to put others needs above our own, especially when we don’t like them, that showing it shows others that we are God’s kids. In fact, according to 1 John 4:8 “The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
So how do we get this kind of love?
God tells us in 1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.” Agape love is the kind of love God showed to us. John 3:16 says, “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” So the first step to having this kind of love is receiving this kind of love from God. Really soak in and think about God’s love for you! The second step is to consider; consider what is best for others and how you can be part of that best happening. Finally, follow the example of God, give yourself, give your time, and give your prayers for others.
Too often Christians get caught up in trying to argue people into believing in God or believing what they believe about God. It’s not our responsibility to defend Jesus or defend the church. It is our responsibility to be the church, to be the body, the hands, the feet, the heart of Christ, to represent the beautiful love and grace of Jesus by loving others. So today focus on God’s love for you because there is no love without Him.
It is my desire to lavish my love on you. – 1 John 3:1
For you are my treasured possession. – Exodus 19:5
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love. – Jeremiah 31:3
And Christs death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. – 1 John 4:10