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Saturday, December 30, 2023


12-30-2023         What is love?  Again

Almost a year ago I posted “What is Love” (1/14/2023).  I’d like to revisit this post, perhaps even with a few adjustments.

1 John 4:8b      GOD IS LOVE!

Since 9/24-2022, we’ve been talking about who God is, which, of course, is  love.  The unity of the Godhead, Father, Son & Holy Ghost.  That fact that we desire eternal fellowship with the Father.  Through Jesus Christ, we seek ‘salvation’ and once we’ve given our hearts to Him, we learn what God expects from us.  And, of course, a seventh item of ‘how the church could and should grow.  It is ALL based in love.  God’s love.  If you will – ‘agape love’.  That unconditional love that seeks and does that which edifies others.

In the last entry of 2022 (12/31/2022), ‘A New Year’, we closed saying that this love has to begin at home - With us.  And it does!  But love truly begins with Father, YAWEH, Jehovah, the eternal I AM who sheds His love into our lives and hearts.     

Again, this year, I say ‘let’s make it personal’.  Let each one of us say “with ME”.

God is love.  Because we confess God with all our heart and through our spirit, we are able to reflect God’s love.  That is, through the Holy Ghost in us (John 20:22-23, Acts 1:8).   John tells us that if we don’t know God we can’t love with God’s love, but because we do know Him, through His Spirit in us, we can truly love (1 John 4:4-12).    

The closer we walk with the Lord, the more His love will shine in and through our lives because we are seeking to do His will and to please Him.  This doesn’t mean we hide out in our closets and just feel good as we bask in His presence.  We can do that, but Father wants us to also extend that love and good will towards those who are close to us, around us and then to those whom we encounter.  after all, Jesus did say that the Holy Ghost gives us power and the ability to be witnesses for Him and to take His Word to the uttermost parts of the earth (Matt. 28:18-20, Acts 1:7-8).  We do have to get up off our duffs and do something!  Faith without works is dead (James 2;14-26).  Yes? 

Love.  I’m not talking about a ‘pasted on smile’, but having a genuine concern and compassion for other people.  Truly caring about them and, whatever even small part, we may have in edifying them, so that they may become ‘better’ people, walking closer with the Lord.

Do we fall all over people trying to please them?  Of course not.  We have to understand and be confident in our own relationship with the Lord, then learn where our talents and gifts are so we can interact with others appropriately.  We need to understand the depth and breadth of the gifts Father has blessed us with and in which level are we currently operating.  Yes, we can do all things through Jesus Christ (Phil. 4:13), but also we need to also consider the two previous verses in that passage, “I don’t speak out of my need for I have learned to be content in whatever state I find myself (says Paul).  I know how to live with little and I know how to live when having more than enough.  I know hunger and how to be full.  I know how to live having plenty or to be in need” (Phil. 4:11-12).  Whatever our state, we don’t brag or complain but we can be content knowing that God is always with us and with His guidance, we can deal appropriately with that which comes before us.  God is always with us (Heb. 13:5)!  The Holy Ghost will let us know how far to go in a given situation (Luke 12:11-12). 

God is my shepherd!  He satisfies my needs and gives me rest.  He refreshes me as He guides my steps down His pathways (of course, I have to listen to His direction).  Though trouble may be all around me, I will not be fearful for my God comforts me.  He gives me peace in my troubles.  He anoints my head with oil and blesses me.  He prepares my table before those who don’t like me.  I know His goodness and mercies are with me no matter what I do or wherever I go.  I will follow His direction, always, with all my heart, mind, soul and strength (Psalms 23, Mark 12:28-34).  God will bless us as we are obedient in His love (Deut. 28:1-14, 30:16-20).

I know who I am in Christ Jesus so I am not overbearing towards others, but neither am I a doormat.  I follow Jesus’ example of love.  Jesus is the true example of being assertive.  So, as with Jesus, I am tender with those who truly seek Jesus (Matt. 9:20-29) but carry a sharp, two-edged sword for those who truly defy Him (Matt. 23:23-28). 

Living in God’s love is the key to our success in this world.  Living in His love means being obedient to what He tells us and then treating others as Father treats us – in His abiding and caring love.

Yes, He reprimands us when we get off track but that reprimand brings us back into proper alignment in His will.  As our heart lines up with Father’s will, that’s when He will give us our heart’s desire (Psalm 37:4, Matt. 6:31-34).

Jesus tells us that love fulfills the law and the prophets (Matt. 22:36-40).  Starting with the Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:3-17), God describes His love towards us.  Then, through the actions of forty-two prophets mentioned in the bible (not all have their own book), how He guides and directs us, provides for us, saves us from peril and even reprimands us when we get off track.  He loves us when we abide in HJIs will – and even when we don’t.  Even in that final separation, God never stops loving us.  However, depending on how we love, too many will not enjoy His fellowship throughout eternity.  The gate to eternal life is straight and narrow (Matt. 7:13-14) even though Father desires that none perish (2 Peter 3:9), nota all will enter in.     

From Genesis through Revelation we get a pretty good picture of how God’s love works.  Yet, understand, no matter how much bible we know, Father has still not shown us all about His love.  personally, every time I read a given passage in the bible, Father shows me something deeper. 

Remember, even before THE birth of Jesus, the angel of the Lord came to Joseph and said that the child should also be called Emmanuelle (God is with us – Matt. 1:23) and He is the Word (Jesus).  So, in the beginning, was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1).  God, the Father, came into this world, Himself, in the person of Jesus, to redeem us from our sins and reconnect us back with Himself – forever (John 3:16). 

There is no greater love that one can demonstrate towards another than to give his life for him (15:13).  Yes, there have been martyrs for God over the ages and we are appointed to die once, the natural death (Heb. 9:27), thank you Adam and Eve (Gen. 2:17).  Yet, we all don’t die for Jesus, literally (in the flesh).  Once we’ve accepted Him into our heart, we do crucify the old man and allow the new man (now in us) to live for Him (Rom. 6:6-9).  If you will, the old man dies in Christ and the new man lives in God’s love, in this life and he next. 

Be aware that there are basically five types of love.

Agape (Gr 26) or dowd (Heb 1730) love is having affection or benevolence towards another, considering their well-being.

Philoteknos (Gr 5388) is the type of love we have for our children, eg. “a mother’s love”.

Philandros (Gr 5362) or ahab (Heb 157) is the type of love a husband and wife share.

Philadelphia (Gr 5360) is a brotherly love.

Phileo (G5368) having sentiment towards another person or even a ‘thing’.  (Look at that poor doggie.  He’s hurt.)

Now, I don’t mention eros (also from the Greek).  This coincides with plhilandros but is not specifically mentioned in the bible.  We may get an insight by reading the “Song of Soslomon” in the Old Testament.

So what is love?  Jesus tells us that when we do something to/for any of His brothers, we’ve done it unto Him (Matt. 25:40).  We receive Jesus into our heart allowing His love to abide in our heart and allowing Him to work in us and through us via our speech and our actions.  Again, faith without works doesn’t amount to much.  Yet, all this is possible because the Holy Ghost has taken up residence within our heart and enables us to love our fellow man as Jesus loves us.  We don’t ‘get saved’ because we do works but rather our being saved produces God’s works in us and through us. Thus, we return our love to Jesus by expressing that love for others.  Caring about their well-being. 

 Truly loving because the Creator has first loved us.


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