Number 37 February 9, 2003
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
Let Love Reign
By Jack Northart
Love - It has been written about, talked about and sought after more than anything else in life. Generally, when a person is thinking of love, they probably think of running through a field of flowers, hand in hand with a loved one. Or a feeling of floating on a cloud, or maybe hundreds of different "feelings" that are associated with love.
I John 4:9
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
This is how God favorably introduced His love. He gave His only begotten Son. Even when we were so unlovable, God did this for us. This love of God is translated from the Greek word agape. Since we are talking about the love of God, let's take a brief look at the other predominate types of love in the world today. Besides agape love, there is eros love. This type of love is nothing more than animal attraction. This is so prevalent in the world today and when people talk about "falling" in love, this is usually what they are referring to. The third type of love is phileo love. This is human love or brotherly love. The city of Philadelphia gets its name from this word. It is a love that loves under conditions of being loved, so there is still an element of selfishness involved. But, the type of love that we want to focus on is agape, translated in the King James Version as "love" and "charity." The love of God is born within us at the time of the new birth. It becomes manifested to others as we put this love of God on in our minds.
And above all these things put on charity [agape], which is the bond of perfectness.
At the moments in life when we, as Christians, put on love, we walk in perfection. In this manner, we can be in union with the God of all grace, for he that dwells in this kind of love, dwells in God.
I John 4:16
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
This love of God is something that the world needs to see once again. Agape is the new divine nature of our Heavenly Father. It is shed abroad in our hearts by the holy spirit that was given to us.
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God [agape] is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.
This love of God has no selfishness to it. There is no bitterness or resentment in the love of God. To the contrary, when we love with this type of love, it will burn selfishness out of our lives. It is the most powerful force in the universe. But again, we must renew our minds and put on this love of God continually, because God will not force us to love. That is why He exhorts us to walk this way.
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children: And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.
The love of God is kind, gentle and easy to be entreated. It is never rash or harsh. It carries forgiveness and understanding.
I Peter 4:8
And above all things have fervent charity [agape] among yourselves; for charity [agape] shall cover the multitude of sins.
There may be something in my life or your life that no one else needs to know about. Perhaps it was a scandalous past, or an event that caused hurt and harm. The Word of God declares that this love of God covers that over with silence. When we practice this love of God, we don't live to please ourselves but rather we live to please God.
I John 3:18
My little children, let us not love [agape] in word, neither in tongue: but in deed and in truth.
The best summation of agape love, is in the 13th chapter of I Corinthians. This chapter is often misquoted and taken out of context and lumped together with all other types of love. But, the context of this wonderful truth is how to best operate the manifestations of holy spirit. And as we carry these out with the love of God, the greatest amount of edification to the Church is obtained, and God is glorified. This chapter describes this agape love with seven things that it does do, and nine things that it does not do.
I Corinthians 13:4-5
Charity [agape] suffereth (patiently endures) long and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
The word "thinketh" is translated from the Greek word, logizomai. This is not used to describe just having a thought about evil. This word is translated elsewhere as "reckon" and "conclude." We get our English word "logic" from this Greek word. When we put on the love of God, it does not draw evil conclusions.
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things (in God's Word), hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth…
This love of God in our renewed minds is delighted in God and in His Son Jesus Christ. It is blessed at others' successes or Godly victories, as opposed to rejoicing in iniquity, which would be to become delighted in others' failures.
In order for our lives to glorify God, we must walk as Christians with this magnificent love of God. Rather than turning to the bankrupt answers that the world has to offer to help and love people, we can love with the love of God and have our success assured, for agape love never fails. Let us let love reign.
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