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  • Writer's pictureSherron

February | Lessons on Love | Part 2

We learned in Part 1 that true love comes from God. It is holy, and not the carnal love often featured in worldly films or traditions. Real love blesses rather than curses. It is practiced in humility and is often sacrificial; especially when it comes to love of God, family, or country. Agape love is a form of love that is divinely of God. Agape - Wikipedia


I encourage the reader to follow that link above as it has some history of how the term agape love came to be with ancient translations from the Bible and various church commentators. Basically, agape love can be found in the often-quoted scripture of 1 Corinthians chapter 13 on love (please read).


The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to church members at Corinth to address a lot of confusion over morality and church service conduct. The Corinthian Christians were backsliding into the sexual immorality of the world around them. They had turned the Lord’s Supper into a feast like no other and were disruptive in church; even corrupting the gifts of the Spirit they had been given by God.

After much corrective teaching in the preceding 12 chapters, Paul introduces Chapter 13 with these words:

              But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.” ~ 1 Corinthians 12:12:31b NLT


He goes on to write a whole chapter on the attributes of agape love – Chapter 13 - the greatest love; the form of love that Jesus had for humanity when He gave His life on the cross as payment for our sin debt. Also, one glaring absence in this entire chapter of Corinthians is the lack of any mention of sex in connection to love.

Agape Love
1 Cor 13:4-7

 Notice the positive words patient, kind, faithful, hopeful, enduring, steady, happy when love wins, and rejoicing over truth. Verse 5 states the attributes that love is not. It is not jealous, boastful, rude, proud, demanding, irritable, keeping score of wrongs or injustice.

Verse 8 mentions that even some gifts of the Spirit such as prophesy, speaking in tongues, and special knowledge will become useless, but love lasts forever!  Love is complete and is part of the whole picture when the time of perfection comes.


Wow! Love is so important to God. It is basically the entirety of God’s plan and existence. I wish I had the ability to express love the way God would have me tell you, but His Word is more than sufficient. He has given us so much about love in the Bible. How many times is love mentioned in the Bible? Different translations end up with a different number.


Verse 13 of Chapter 13 predicts:


Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.


So how do we love as Jesus commanded?

  1. How do we love our enemies? Start by praying for their salvation in Jesus! Share the Gospel of Christ with them if opportunity arises or support ministries that you trust to take God’s Word to them and share when you cannot. Pray that God will send someone that they will listen to, rather than you, their perceived enemy.

  2. How do we love strangers? So many opportunities for that! Pay it forward when you receive kindness yourself. Pay a bigger tip to that hard-working food server that is being ridiculed by patrons on the job or even buy them a dinner! There are so many ways to show selfless love to strangers. Simply ask how their day is going and be willing to be a true listener. They will be so surprised and may open up to your thoughtful caring inquiry. Visit the sick in a hospital or nursing home. Help widows and orphans, and never, never expect reward or anything in return this side of Heaven!

  3. Okay, and if you are still reading this, bless your heart. How do we love our own loved- ones? This is a really big one. There is a story in the Book of Luke that tells us Jesus was rejected by his own villagers in Nazareth when He declared in the synagogue that He was indeed the Messiah predicted by the prophet Isaiah (which meant that Jesus was declaring Himself to be - well, God!).


"How can this be?”, they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” ~ Luke 4:22b


Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.”

~ Luke 4:24 NLT


The townspeople tried to kill Jesus for blasphemy. Jesus being the Son of God, AND the Messiah, He escaped by becoming invisible. He walked right through the mob unseen and went His way (Luke 4:14-30)


So how does this story relate?


It is the same in families. Ask a nurse or doctor if any one of their family members trust them to doctor a skinned knee at home! But going deeper into our family relationships, love can be shown in cases of serving our spouses and children through daily living or tending the sick and elderly, helping terminally ill family members by taking them to appointments, doing shopping and other errands, caring and sharing time. Acknowledging them with kindness and concern. When we truly love we open ourselves up to others and that can be scary.  We become vulnerable to rejection or abuse. It's a huge risk. That’s okay. It happened to Jesus, too.


Bless you for reading this post on love all the way to the end. Thank you for wanting to grow your love to be more like Jesus.

 

Let love be your highest goal! ~ 1 Corinthians 14:1a NLT


And Happy Valentine's Day filled with God's love and all it brings to those who practice love like 1 Corinthians chapter 13!




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