Discovering The Love of Agape

Scripture Readings: John l5:l3 – No one has greater love than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.

I Corinthians l3:l-2 – If I speak with the tongues of men and of angel, but have not love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains but have not love, I am nothing.

I John 4:7-8 – Loved ones, let us love one another, for love is from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

A young man wakes up and walks out the door to start another day. As he walks along, he sees water coming down an eve's spout. A seemingly dead plant sits inches away from the water while all the other plants are in full bloom. So, he nudges the plant underneath the water for no other reason but in hopes that life is still in the plant. He walks further and sees an elderly lady trying to lift an extremely heavy food cart up onto the sidewalk. He quickly goes over and helps her lift the cart with a huge smile on his face. He walks further and finds a woman and young girl begging for money. He reaches into his wallet and finds only two bills. He knows these are his last money. But, he takes out the bills and gives one to the woman and one to the young child who bows in humble thanks for his kindness. He goes further and eats at a corner eatery when a stray dog comes up to him begging for food. He ends up sharing his lunch with the dog while the cook looks at him with disgust. The dog ends up following him.

The man gets home and kneels down and prays giving himself to God to use yet another day.

The next morning, he checks the plant, again helps the woman lift her heavy cart , and stops to check on the ones with nothing who have to beg for food. The woman was there but the child was gone. He looks sad as fears something has happened to her. He turns and looks and here is the young child in a new school uniform. Through the love of God, the agape love of God, shining out him, he gave himself for the good of others and life came into dead, hopeless human souls, one dog, and by the way, the plant. And when he finally checked, the plant had sprouted and bore fresh leaves and flowers had bloomed...out of death came life to all he had touched in God's love of agape shining through him.

What is this love of agape? What is this God-type of love? How do we see it and how can it be shown in our lives? The above testimony is a good start to such love.

The love of agape is an ancient Greek word. It is “love, the highest form of love, charity, the love of God for man and of man for God. Not to be confused with “phileo” - brotherly love – agape embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends, that serves regardless of circumstances. Most important of all, agape love continues to show deep love for one another and all God's creation. As I Peter 4:8, it also mentions that this type of love covers a multitude of sins.

Agape is unconditional as the story above shows. It is a decision, a matter of one's will to follow God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. Agape love is the foundation for the best and noblest relationships that humans are capable of. It is deliberate and unconditional love that is the result of choices and behaviors rather than feelings and emotions.

Agape love is about the values we embrace as a way of life, and it is a determination to 'behave' in a certain way that stems from our regard for others and beings, regardless of how we may feel about them.

We are to love others with God's agape-type love, whether they are believers (John l3:34) or bitter enemies (Matthew 5:44) Jesus gave the parable of the Good Samaritan as an example of sacrifice for the sake of others, even for those who may care nothing at all for us. Agape love as modeled by Christ

is not based on a feeling, rather, it is a determined act of the will, a joyful, happy resolve to put the welfare of other parts of God's Kingdom above our own.

Agape love does not come naturally. Because of our fallen nature, we are incapable of producing such a love. If we are to love as God loves, that love – that agape – can only come from the Source. This is the love that “has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit”, who has been given to us when we became His children. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for others as well. I John 3:l6...Because of God's love toward us, we are able to love one another as we lay our lives down daily and allow His love to flow through us as we also go through our day allowing Christ's love and joy to overflow to others as we go through our day..

Loving, giving, and sharing, and showing compassion even to simple plants and animals on top of humans, life comes out of death. And, as we look with a compassionate and loving heart, what a thrill will come as we see that new life and smiles of healing that come to those God has helped through us.

How do we receive this love of agape? We simply ask God to pour that love into our hearts, simply open up our hearts and receive it and give our lives over to it.

It is our prayer that you think about these words and open up your heart and ask the Lord to fill you with the love of agape. We can promise you that as you walk through your day as Jesus walked, you will be amazed how not only do you set others free but you will be set free yourself. The Agape love of God does cover a multitude of sins. You can bank on it.

Draw close to God. He will draw close to you and fill you with Himself. And, your life will never be the same. Hallelujah!

Footnotes -

Agape – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Meaning of Agape/ Men of Integrity

got Questions?org/What is agape love?

All scriptures taken from 'Messianic Jewish Family Bible'