When hearing the word love, what comes to mind? A person? A feeling? A place? Whatever it is you think of that word draws you to it. But our modern ideas of love are skewed. We have all heard the phrase, “I love that”. But do we really in the fullest sense of the word, “love that”. Philosophers, poets’ writers, and some scholars write about its beauty, its tenderness, its passion, but really what is love and where did it come from? Most people really don’t have a firm grasp on that, they “love” in the abstract.
If we are to understand “love” we should begin with a definition. However, love in the English language is difficult because it can mean so many different things. We should take a lesson from the Greek language they have several different words fort the different kinds of love they knew of. For instance, when someone has a physiological response to another person we call it “love” but the Greek language would call it “eros” in our modern vernacular we would call that “lust”. It is that kind of “love that draws us to someone with whom we are attracted to. Then there is the kind of “love” we have for those who are family. The Greek language calls it “phileo” (fil-a-o) This is the kind of “love reserved only for those with whom we share various parts of life close to us. There is a third word for “love” in the Greek language for “love”. It is a special word, “agape” (uh-gaup-a). Now my Greek critics are going to say that that word is not really in the Greek language in its classic or modern forms and you would be correct. It is only found in the Greek texts of the New Testament.
However, the Koine Greek of the New Testament uses it in reference to a love that has no limitations or hang-ups. It is a “love” that can only come from the infinite God. It is a “love” that abounds towards its object unconditionally. No human is capable apart from God to love in this manner. In fact, even the scripture tells us that only God has it and only God can give it away. We can only imitate. We attempt unconditional love, but we are limited by emotional constructs, by time and space, and even our own egos. It is this intense “love” that was passed from God to us that we attempt to emulate in our lives and those around us. That is why it is written about and longed after. The problem is we in our limitations do not seek it properly. We look for it in people and things so that we might satiate the longing of our hearts. We should look to the Author of “love”, the one who made us, God. The scripture describes that unconditional “love”.
Romans 5:1-8 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (3) And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (4) And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (6) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:7-11 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. (8) He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (9) In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (11) Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
1 Timothy 2:3-6 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; (4) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (5) For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (6) Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Can you hear it and almost feel it from the scripture? It is there waiting on you. Waiting for you to accept it. To take hold of and let it wash over you. Will you let God “love” you with His love?
Stay positive! Stay in the Word! The Positive Pastor