From the pulpit: What love really is in life
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 22, 2005
When Paul and the other New Testament writers were confronted with the kind of love shown in 1 Corinthians 13, they realized the Greek language was unable to fully express the concept; so they were forced to coin a new word for it &045; agape, the God kind of love.
Agape, or Christian love, is not an impulse of the feelings. Agape love seeks the well-being of all, works no ill toward an, but seeks an opportunity to do good to everyone. It is the perfect description of Jesus, and it is the way mankind was designed to live.
Moses was given 10 commandments for the Israelites to live by, but the Jesus summed them all up in one simple instruction: Love one another as I have loved you. (John 13:34).
If we’ll walk in agape, we’ll not only keep the law, we’ll go above and beyond it.
Walking in the God kind of love is the only sure foundation for a godly life. Paul said we must be &8220;rooted and grounded in love&8221; if we’re to have Christ really dwell in our hearts.
God is not going to fill us with his presence if we’re not walking in love.
But if we’ll learn to consistently receive his love and pass it on to others, his love will fill our lives with &8220;all the fullness of God&8221; Eph. 3:14-19.
Perfect love, God’s kind of love, has the power to dominate our hearts to the point that fear will not have room to enter (1 John 4:18). It’s like dropping marbles in a full glass of water. As the marbles go in, the water is displaced; the two cannot occupy the same space at the same time.
Neither can love and fear both fill our hearts. When &8220;Jesus Loves Me&8221; becomes an all-day-long reality, fear will have lost its power over us.
Love is why God created the universe.
We ordinarily don’t think of God as &8220;needing&8221; anything, but there is one pressing, neverending need in the heart of the almighty: God needs someone upon whom he can bestow his neverending love.
How sad that our society has made an art form out of anger and discontent. Once we knew that &8220;the whole purpose of man is to know God and enjoy him forever.&8221; But we’ve forgotten how to love the Lord and how to love each other. In the process, we’ve made ourselves miserable.
Love is why God sent a savior. &8220;For God so loved the world, that He gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life&8221; John 3:16. It would have been easy for God to condemn us to the fruit of our own wrong choices; but his great love demanded a better solution. So he sent his son to die in our place.
Love is why we preach and minister. We who have found ourselves the beneficiaries of Christ’s love, have discovered we can no longer live our lives for ourselves.
Some of the father’s divine, compelling love has been miraculously placed within us who so richly do not deserve it. That’s why we do what we do.
Truett Murphy serves as pastor of Living Word Church in Pelham. He can be reached by e-mail at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org