Let me share with you two things that I love:
I love my wife.
I love Chinese food.
But, I can honestly say I love my wife more and differently than I do Chinese food. I’m sure you’re so glad to know that!
I also love my God and I love my friends (and fishing). Again, I don’t love them totally the same. There is a difference in how I love them. Nonetheless, I love! Confused yet?
You see, we have one word to describe love in the English language and surely you don’t love your wife the same way you love your dog. You don’t love God the same way you love your farm, do you? No, of course not.
The Greeks (language of the New Testament) had many words for love:
- Agape: sacrificial, unconditional Godly type love
- Philia: Friendship type love
- Starage: Natural Affection type love
- Eros: Sexual type love
- The English language has only one word for love.
Now let’s talk about how God wants us to love:
In the New Testament, “Eros” (sexual love) is never used at all. Interesting. Starage (natural affection) is only used a couple of times. Philia (friendship) is used quite a bit. So this is something God wants from us and for us.
Drum Roll Please…
“Agape” (sacrificial, unconditional, committed love) is by far the word of choice in the New Testament. it conotates a “deliberate choice.” It’s the type of love in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…” God made a “deliberate choice” and sacrificed His only Son for our sins. He showed us “unconditional” agape love! He showed His commitment to us at the highest of levels.
I wants to encourage you today to show agape love… God’s love. But you cannot give what you have not received! Colossians 3:14 says “put on” love (agape) or clothe yourself in love. Have you taken time to “act in love?” God loves you unconditionally today. Now, love others unconditionally. Let the Holy Spirit fill you with His love and then make the choice to love even the unlovable.