“A new command I give you. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another…God is love…We love because He first loved us”
(Jn 13;34, 35; 1Jn 4:8, 19)
In Greek, the word ‘love’ is ‘agape’. It appears more than 250 times in the New Testament. This love is not a soft romantic nice sexy feeling. Also, it is not a friendly brotherly (sisterly) attachment to family and friends. The agape love is basically defined as self-sacrifice, loving like God, who suffered and died that we might live. It is the only love ‘found’ in the Bible. It is a spiritual love poured into our hearts when we become born again. God does not just love by nature but He is love Himself. That is why everything that proceeds from God is coming from His heart of love. We do not merit this love. It is pure grace in action.
Agape love affects the whole man. Its overflow extends not only to your family and friends, but to your neighbors, enemies and even to the whole world. There is no virtue in loving your own family or even ‘falling in love’ with someone you like to marry. But to love like Jesus is a sacrifice and an eternal achievement that even heaven acknowledges and admires! This Christian love is not just an emotion, but a mighty victory of your selfish flesh, over your natural mind and will! Agape love defines a true champion!
God has loved us first of all. The word ‘first’ means to be foremost in time, in place and in the order of importance. Out of the revelation of this ‘first love’ we have received, we become able to overflow in worship and to love other men. This love starts like a little seed and becomes a harvest of adoration and service back to the Father. Love then becomes ‘perfect’. It now affects the whole character of man. As a fruit of the Spirit flowing out, this love touches others like nothing else will do. The love of God in the heart of the mature believer has universal favor will all men. None can resist it. Jesus said that ‘all men will know’ that we belong to Jesus!
There is always a danger in becoming lukewarm and forsaking your ‘first love’ (Rev 2:4). Religious spirits may look attractive but they do not have a drop of love. Test the spirits of men who come to you with sweet words, gifts and promises. Look for the universal sign of ‘love like Jesus’. The man may be hard working, handsome, rich, gifted and all. The woman may look soft, nice and beautiful, and she may sing like an angel. But if they have no love, they are just a noisy, out of tune, out of the orchestra cymbals, trouble makers and bitter roots. Without agape love, like Absalom, they are just thieves of hearts! Run away from them! Do not befriend them! Do not marry them! You must repent of seeking to please anyone else than the God who loved you first!
The greatest proof of love is the Cross. The Father sent His Son to die for us, the sinners. There is no greater love than that. Here you see the root of agape love: it is self-sacrifice. Our destiny is to glorify the God of the Cross and to desire to be like His Son who died on it! Agape love is more than words, it is action love. You shall have enough opportunities to prove that agape love flows in your veins by helping others to fulfill their destiny, by postponing the satisfaction of your desires, by waiting on God and interceding for others. You learn to respect the needs of others more than yours.
We got married as unbelievers. We started our life together based on eros mixed with philio love. It was all flesh. Yes, it was beautiful and romantic but flesh nevertheless. After we became saved, we saw the need for our marriage to be saved. Both my husband and I started to pray to love like Jesus. It was not an easy transition. The devil attacked us like never before. We made mistakes along the way but we persevere on that royal way of the Cross. Little by little we saw the light and the hope of glory. Our marriage became new, holy, full of genuine romance and joy that none could quench. The unity of the Spirit was established. Even more than that, it became a ministry to many, challenging and encouraging them to follow the same path. .
This is the simplest way I can say it…For example, I shall sleep hungry tonight if all we have is just a piece of bread. My husband coming tired from work shall eat it and he will not even know that I am hungry. That is the least of my proof of loving him. He shall also do the same… This shall become a marriage life style and ministry to the end.
“By this we have known the love of God, because He laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (1 John 3:16). Because of God’s love toward us, we are now able to love one another.
This is my wish for you…O, that you may be interested to learn more about the love of Christ flowing in your soul…O, that you may desire to worship God thru this agape love…O, that you may desire to practice self-sacrifice for the sake of Christ…O, that you may humbly take your cross daily and follow Jesus…O, like water becoming wine, may your erotic love in marriage be changed into the undying love of God found in Christ Jesus our Lord…O, that you may desire to be a true champion, a holy vessel unto the Lord, an inspiration to all men and angels too…O…O…O…
In Jesus name