With Valentines day right around the corner I began to think about the word love and what it really is. We hear it all the time and even more around Valentines Day. Parents tell their children “I love you”, children tell their parents “I love you”. Husbands and wives, boyfriends & girlfriends share the same words, “I love you”. We also use the word love to show our feelings about some “thing”. We say I love that car, or I love chocolate. But love is…..?
Have we ever sat down and thought about what the word means? I remember hearing a pastor preach on the word love. He explained that there were actually 3 different Greek words for our English word love. Love can be: 1. Agape – God’s unconditional love; 2. Philia – Brotherly love; 3. Eros – romantic love.
Most of us understand philia love; it is the brotherly kind of love that we have for our dear friends, a kinsmenship. Eros is the love between a husband and wife. This love is a very special love given to man by God and meant to seal/bond their relationship so that the two shall be made one.
Agape love, God’s unconditional love is probably the least known and understood by the general population. Those of us who have grown up in church have heard about agape love. I John 4:8b says “….God is love”. It is WHO He is. Love is one of His attributes. And His love is unconditional. To me, the greatest thing is that He can’t NOT love, because it is who He is. I John 4:10 says this, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins”. This tells me that love is initiated by God. Love is his posture toward the human race, it begins with God. And the other thing I see about the love the Father has for us, it is sacrificial in nature. He loved us so much and knew we were separated from Him because of our sin problem, so he sacrificed His Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. He who knew no sin (Jesus) became sin for us. Love is from God. Love is sacrificial.
I John 4:11 “…since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another”. God is love and Jesus expressed that love by coming down from heaven and spent 3 years teaching the disciples about it. John 13:34 says “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” If we are true followers of Jesus, we will do as He commands us. And He commands us to love. Love is to be shared.
I Corinthians 13:4-8a says this; “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails….”. Love is a humble servant.
Love is…incredible….amazing….unbelievable…a gift from God.