“We love because He first loved us. ” (1 John 4:19 NIV)
Some people meander through life without ever knowing real love. Now, just in case you think this could never happen to you, especially Christians---hear me out. Quick question: do you feel complete, no-strings-attached, to-the-bone, unconditional love at all times? I’m not talking about the sporadic ‘feel-good or spine-tingling’ moments but the kind of faithful love that rearranges your life.
A quick word study on agape love might help. Agape love has to do with the mind and not simply an emotion that arises spontaneously. This kind of love transcends all others and doesn’t depend upon our worthiness. Such love is beyond our ability to grasp with our intellect, but not beyond understanding it deep within our hearts.
Like most people, I’ve done my share of superficial posturing. Pretending everything’s okay, yet, carrying a nagging sense of abandonment within. That is until a few years ago when a situation forced me into a ‘do-over’. Ever needed one of those? While letting go of selfish pride and hurt, I embraced God’s warming presence and made a deliberate decision to believe He loves me. Extremely freeing and peaceful, I might add.
Contrary to popular understanding, the significance of ‘agape’ is that it’s primarily a love of the will. It is God’s nature to love, and He does so by His willful pleasure as seen with the sacrificial gift of His Son. Love never fails. It bears all things, believes all things and endures all things (1 Corinthians 13: 7-8). Yes, love found its perfect expression in Christ’s death on the cross and that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Written by Darlene Edmondson