The Bible is full of teaching about love and about God’s loving kindness. Most preachers have preached multiple sermons on love. Is more theological configuration of love necessary? Can more analysis about love help us love more? Jesus clearly demonstrates love in the Gospels. Paul clearly defines it in “The Love Chapter.”
Love isn’t a theology–a religious head trip. It’s a heart that’s been so captured by kindness and consumed with compassion that it “considers others better than yourself.” It’s not sweet feelings, but courageous, continuous, self-sacrificing behavior.
Love’s a “do”–a very demanding “do.” “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It’s not thought or sentiment. It’s caring action.
“Agape” is the most important word that the Greek New Testament uses for love. There’s nothing human about agape. It’s God’s love. It’s part of the fruit of the Spirit, which means that love isn’t produced merely by human effort but is inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit living in and through a human being. My desires, feelings, and opinions must decrease within me so that God can become the source of my behavior and I can be led by the Spirit. Without God’s supernatural empowerment, we can’t demonstrate and spread agape. Left to our own resources and abilities we can only offer people a generic brand of love that’s laced with selfish motives.
Agape begins with and is continually motivated by a new birth and a new heart that makes us “pure in spirit” so that the living water of agape can flow from our innermost being and manifest in our considering others better than ourselves and demonstrating that in our actions. Agape is glorious and the only hope humans have of glory is “Christ in you.” “God so agaped the world . . .” By complete and continual surrender to God’s Son, you can be an instrument of God’s glorious and supernatural agape.
Lord, make me contagious with Your agape. Constantly empower me to be kind and compassionate to everyone.