Love. What is it?
Usually when a person says I love you to another, it can mean anything from “I like you” to “I enjoy your company”. It is not so much the word as the meaning behind the word. In the bible, we read of many occasions that the word love is used but all too often we don’t really understand what it means. The fact of the matter is that we use this word so loosely today that we have lost the true meaning of what love means. Join us as we answer the question: Love, What is it?
I am not a Greek scholar nor do I profess to be one of the English language either, but I will share some words from the Greek to better illuminate this subject.
In our text today we see that God loved His creation humanity so much that He sent part of Himself down to wicked earth, which He cursed, to die for man that He couldn’t look upon. God made a choice to put on human skin and submit to beings that He created in order to provide a way that we could be reconciled back to Him. That is almost like having a person kill your family and then being found guilty and sentenced to prison. Then after being remarried and having another child, sending that child to die in the place of that sentenced man that killed your first family. Many don’t have the heart or the stomach for that, but I’m so glad that God did and He still does. What type of love is that?
It’s called: AGAPE Love – This type of love is considered a highest form of brotherly love or a love that God has for man.
What does this word really mean? I believe that Jesus said it best when He said “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 KJV. Our Lord said that this type of love does a couple things.
- AGAPE Love Has Humility.
When I read John 3:16, I don’t see anyplace where Jesus boasted of His action and criticized our inability to act. I actually read it from a point of humility and a broken heart. He saw a need for fallen man to be redeemed to God so much that He saw His own body as a way to fill the need. You see recognizing a need is important but putting legs and feet to what your eyes have seen is the next step. However, putting your mortal body through pain for hours and then dying alone and with a broken heart is more than any person can bear. God did that for you and I so that we can have a relationship with Him. He doesn’t force people to accept that gift nor does He sarcastically remind us that humanity killed Jesus. He whispers in the shadows that He is here for us and that He will be here when we are tired of sin. His arms are open wide without judgment or without grudges. This type of love chooses to wipe the slate clean each time we fall after we ask for forgiveness. This type of love chooses not to remember when we do the same thing over and over again. Why? Because God sees the person that we are and NOT the object that controls us and causes us to sin. Do you show humility when you love or do you love with the mind of seeking a reward from the other person? Do you love the other person unconditionally or do you love them until they hurt you? Is your love for another solid and unmovable or does it take the consistency of Jell-O because any hard thing breaks it?
- AGAPE Love Has Honor
I realize that this word may seem out of place but consider this thought. Jesus said “…that a man lay down his life for his friends” in John 15:13 KJV. Being in the military for nearly 20 years and in combat situations, I have seen the a few things about people having honor.
I remember reading a story of sacrifice a few years back just 100 miles away from where I was stationed during my time overseas. There was an attack on a small patrol of about 8-10 Marines by a local group of insurgents. The Marine patrol was heavily outnumbered 3 to 1 and the nearest help was about 15 minutes away by flight. The leader of the group had the Marine unit take cover in a small house not too far from the site where they had been ambushed. Once inside, they discovered that one of their fellow Marines had been pinned down by heavy fire and that the insurgents were about to come around the corner and kill him. The team leader gave the mission papers to the assistant team leader and ran out in attempt to draw their fire away from this young Marine that was pinned down. When the team leader ran out to help this young Marine he was shot 5-8 time by a sniper. Before he reached his young Marine and led him to safety he had received over 15 gunshots. As a result of his injuries he became paralyzed from the waist down. What made him sacrifice himself for only one person? Honor! He took an oath to protect and defend his Marines even if it meant his life.
God loves us with a love that we cannot understand in mortal minds. Just like that Marine leader, He wants to protect us and guard us from the evil forces that want to destroy us. You see God left the safety and security of heaven to come into a wicked and dangerous world to be slain for us. He was wounded for us and he still has scars that will forever remind us of what He has done for us. His own desire to honor His Father makes us want to honor Him. Even if there were a few people on earth, Jesus would still volunteer to come and save us by His death and suffering so we wouldn’t have to suffer or be destroyed. Does your love honor others? Does your love suffer for others? Does your love reflect a heart that is willing to give up your liberty, your safety and security for another even if they can’t return the favor?
Love is just a word, but the action or the meaning behind the word is what gives love its power. If this is the case, how much power do you have? What effort or actions do you show to let others know you’re for real? Does God know that you’re serious about loving Him? Serving Him and reading the bible and praying aren’t showing Him that you love Him. That’s just like a husband giving a bride very expensive gifts but never being around to see her face appreciate them. Where’s your heart and mind with God? In tomorrow’s devotional we will speak about the deep friendship of brotherly love and why it has become shallow today. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.