During my worship time this past Sunday, I decided to pull up a live online teaching from my son’s former high school teacher, Melissa Dellinger, before tuning into a sermon from Elevation Church. About 5 minutes into her lesson, I realized that God had an underlying reason for leading me to Melissa this particular day. Her topic stirred something up in me. At the time, I couldn’t tell if it was a sting from my conscience or just curiosity in wanting to learn more.
The topic was…Agape Love.
The most powerful word in the New Testament is AGAPE…the Greek word for love. This word appears 320 times in the New Testament.
This type of love is what was displayed on the cross by Jesus Christ. In John 3:16 it is written that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” This love is characterized by unselfishness and giving, even to the point of sacrifice. Would you die for an enemy? A stranger? God did and this is the true meaning of love.
Agape love isn’t based on emotions but on actions. It is making the choice to love no matter what. To love when it’s not always convenient or when it’s not reciprocated. It extends to both the deserving and the undeserving. To say, I love you when you are not very lovable. Agape is to always love in a way that brings you closer to Jesus and His love.
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you ~ Matthew 5:44
During this time of division in our country, unrest in our cities, and sickness in our communities, it is easy to become discouraged. But as followers of Christ, we must abstain from negative reactions. *Hence...this is where my conscience was alerting me that I need to work on this * Instead, we must show love and fix our eyes on what is unseen. This can be very difficult because as humans, our actions are usually guided by emotions. We must consciously love people, even those who we feel are undeserving or unworthy. This requires self-discipline that’s almost greater than we’re capable of .
Jesus commands that his people “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:39). He doesn’t say “love thy neighbor only if they are nice to you or only if they agree with you.” So, when you find it hard to show love to that unlovable person, remember these three words…OBEY. GRACE. TRUST.
OBEY God’s commandment by giving GRACE to those around you and TRUST the unseen and know there’s an underlying goal that God is trying to accomplish.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:18
Today, will YOU be a vessel of this love of God—letting Him love others in you and through you? When you do, not only will others be changed, but you will change too. BE that witness in a broken world.
Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. (Colossians 3:14)