“But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Searching for a picture that sums up the word, “agape”, is difficult. When we think of love, our first images are rather joyful and beautiful. There are many pictures that demonstrate the love between man and God. But, what about the love God has for man?
It’s easy to love God…He created everything, He gave His only Son as a ransom for us, He blesses us daily, and at the very heart of it…He IS love (1 John 4:7).
Is it so easy to love us? What have we given? What could we ever do to earn the love of God?
That is the heart of agape love, it cannot be earned. It is freely given and always involves the sacrifice of the giver… and a painful sacrifice that is. It’s a love that thinks not of itself but only of others and their betterment.
Out of the “Four Loves”, agape is the least emotional.
An example of this would be discipline. Remember the verse, “He who spares the rod hates their children?” (Proverbs 13:24). A selfish love would spare the rod in order to keep the peace. An agape love would risk their own peace for the sake of their children. That child may be angry with you for stopping them from “having fun”, but ultimately you are teaching them how to act so that someday they will be successful adults who know right from wrong and lead good Godly lives.
This love meets no personal desires like Eros (romance/sexual), Phileo (friendship/brotherly), and Storge (familial/motherly), it is merely sacrificial. And this love cannot be perverted as the other loves can because they involve desire and when desires are not controlled or are warped by satan, they become purely selfish.
God is Love, but all loves are not God.
What I mean is, when God isn’t in His proper place in our hearts, in other words, the “throne room”, then something else always takes His place. Satan can’t create anything new, he can only pervert what God has created, or in essence, was meant to be “good.” The Godly structure of marriage, family, sex, and “love,” can all be twisted when we replace God in the throne room.
People fall under the lie today that because God created it, it ALL must be good. God created us and yet are we ALL good? Today’s definition of love, therefore, isn’t quite what God’s definition is. God is Love, but He is also righteous and can’t deny Himself. His love is different than many of the warped loves we/satan have created.
That makes the argument, “if it’s love it must be from God!” invalid.
I say this only as an explanation or warning, that we should look to God and His Word to know what things are and what they are not, and not look to the world…which is ever-changing and very much self-driven since it’s king is the Devil.
Agape alone stands the test of time and the rise and fall of humanity. God is agape and that is the kind of love we should seek and value in our lives. In fact, that is the only kind of love we should die in the name of! Christ died not for himself but for all of humanity. It wasn’t glorious, it wasn’t honorable…he died a criminal’s death and suffered beyond fathom, enduring the ridicule, stripped bare and beaten beyond all recognition.
You see, God came down and become a man for us. Never believe that God the Father is apart from the Son! When Jesus came down, God came down. And in my next post, we will look at why this is so important, and why it was necessary.
Until then, God bless you and may He continue to lead you into a better understanding of His great Love. ❤