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CHRISTIAN LOVE

There are 4 words for love in the Greek, but we want to look at "Agape," which is the kind of love required by all Christians...even for their enemies. According to Christ, this special kind of love brings spiritual reward.  What is Agape?  It is unconditional love...not based on whether it is deserved."

Christ said, "You have heard that it was said, 'Love (Agape) your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?"

The apostle Paul again described this special kind of love in 1st Corinthians 13,

"Love (Agape) is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

Agape is an unfailing love.  It can't be shut down.  It is a self-less kind of love.  Most of us love anyone who loves us....but we hate those that hate us.  Natural.  But, Agape love is like God.  When we have Agape love, we imitate God's character and personality.  In fact, when the Bible says, "God is love."  The word for love used in this scripture is Agape.  Because God is unconditional love.  (Thankfully for us.)  God did not choose us because we were necessarily so perfect and so easy to love. 

The Corinthian church was a church that was very proud of their spiritual gifts, so proud, that at a certain point they were even turning away the Apostles from their door.  And Paul tried to set them straight.  He tried to explain to them that they weren't so "hot", he told them that God chooses the foolish things of the world.  I looked up "foolish things" and it comes from the Greek word "moros." (Moron?) It literally means the "block heads" of the world.  I didn't make that term up either, blockheads is actually the meaning they used.  Not exactly a complimentary term, by far. 

But, true, our calling from God is not based on how "great" we are, but on Agape.  That is o.k.  He called blockheads to confound the wise! Which means to "disgrace them," "to make them blush." And the wise of this world will someday blush, when they realize how truly foolish they have been.  Because, the wise of this world do not, for the most part, even recognize God as creator.  Even though it is more than obvious that there had to be a creator.  An old analogy used is that you don't see a Swiss watch and say that it evolved.  Someone had to design it and make it work.  Even male and female reproduction is so complicated that it didn't have 1 million years to evolve.  It had to work from day one or there would be no people.  The "wise" of the world deserve to be shamed for sure....  Paul tried to explain to the Corinthians, that they were called, not because they were so "fabulous," as they thought, but, for the opposite reason. 

1 Corinthians 1:26-29
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are:

29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.  KJV

Paul was making a point.  It is true, that we are not the great ones of the world.  We are not the fabulously wealthy, "the rocket scientists," the world's intelligentsia, the higher ups, but it is a blessing.  More important than that, we are the recipients of Agape, undeserved love from God.  We as Christians, should dispense this kind of love to others and to God, as well.  We shouldn't love God or anyone simply because they've been nice to me and they "deserve it."  We need to give Agape love, which is unbreakable absolute love that nothing can take away.  Even though, that is against our very human nature sometimes.

"When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus said, "'Love (Agape) the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:37-41

The whole Bible, referred to as "the law and the Prophets" by Christ, hangs on these two commandments.  This, He said, is what the whole Bible is about.  Boiled down, it is about learning how to get our minds off ourselves (not easy) and how we should have true unconditional love for all men....and for God Himself.  That is what we want ourselves, and what we need from God.  And that is what He wants and needs from us too.....

Christ said as much when He said, "Love (Agape) the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." 
 

 

 

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