What I think I have, I don’t. It seems that I have loved my whole life. It seems that there have always been people in my life that I loved. It seems like I know what love is. It seems like I have understood it and felt it all my life. It is the weakness of the English language that fails me. I know phileo love. This is brotherly love that is conditional meaning that as long as you love me, then I will love you back, but if you mistreat me, don’t be shocked when I raise my voice too and say horrible things to you. I know eros love. This is romantic, passionate love, but it is self-seeking and pleasure-seeking. The English language translates all of these as love. So it seems that since I have known phileo and eros, and these are translated into the word ‘love’ that I know, understand, have, and give love. But this love is different. It is not phileo nor eros. It is agape.
Agape is a mystery. It is a love that wants the best for everyone, works for the best for everyone and never seeks anything for itself. This is a love that I do not know. It is a mystery wrapped up in a conundrum, dipped deep into the unknown. Agape is not a feeling. It is a decision, an act. God is agape so agape comes with wisdom and knowledge, a discerning spirit to know what someone needs to know or needs to hear in a difficult moment. Whether it be a time of strife or heartache, agape is able to discern what is best for someone in the moment and work toward it as much as possible. That statement says it all. If you are tempted to believe that agape is something natural for you, think about how many times you just don’t know what to do or what to say. There was never a time when Jesus was confounded without knowing what to say, what not to say, what to do or not to do. Because agape is not natural within us, we must pursue it with all our heart. And to pursue agape is to pursue God Himself, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Agape heals. As I seek the Lord with all my heart, my heart is present with Him. He brings healing to the places where I have been hurt the most. Healing is wonderful, but to be healed, we must be honest about our wounds and where we have been hurt. This honesty teaches us a great deal about the love of God. We are intimately familiar with our own wounds left by others so that when we present these wounds to the Lord for healing, we become more and more familiar with the healing touch of Christ. The agape that heals my loneliness teaches me to recognize loneliness in others and how to bring healing to them. If I don’t pursue the Lord, I will miss agape. To pursue Him is to allow my wounds to be injected with agape bringing healing and a knowledge of how to love others with agape.
We must pursue agape with great efforts. Agape is the power of God at work in the world moving mountains and changing lives. I can act as if I already know it, or I can get busy running after it. At some point, the Lord will reveal to each one of us the damage and pain within caused by the absence of agape. Then, we have to answer two questions. First, do I believe the power of God’s love for transformation of self and others? If I can answer ‘yes’ to this question, then I can move forward seeking after agape. The second question I have to answer is how bad do I want things in my life to change for the better? Once we decide that apape is possible within us, and become resolute in our need for a better life, better relationships, better peace and love within, we will do whatever takes to find this agape. We will allow ourselves to be taught. We will not be prideful. We will humble accept instruction from the Lord and our spiritual mentors. We will stop fighting it and start fighting for it.
Your life can be different one decision at a time as you learn to love (agape) in every moment as God pours agape into your heart by the Holy Spirit. Pursue Him and His agape will fill you. And the promise I want to leave you with today is that if we seek Him, we will find Him. #reallove
“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth. ” (NIV)
Heavenly Father, please help me to not be a victim of my own pride. Help me to humble myself realizing that I must pursue you with all my heart to love as You love. Remind me that I don’t have the power within myself to save anyone and not to harm those around me. But Your love active in me from the inside out makes me a vessel of your glory. Through me, Your love can flow freely and the power of Your love will change my life. Give me no excuses to not seek Your love and live by it more and more with each day. Thank You Lord for your real love poured out into my heart by your Holy Spirit. -Amen
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