December 16, 2018
THOUGHTS FROM Francisco:
As we get closer to Christmas, it is good to examine the exact reason that Jesus was born. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. God loved the world by taking action in giving the Son so we would not perish but be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven. The Greek word for this type of love is “agape”. Agape love is not triggered by the merit or worth of the object receiving the love. It starts with the one giving the love and delights in giving that love. This type of love keeps on loving even when the loved one is unresponsive, unkind, un-loveable and unworthy. It is unconditional love. Agape love desires only the good of the one loved. It is a consuming passion for the well-being of the one loved. It is divine love. This is the love that God has for us. Love so overwhelming that “he gave” Jesus so we would not perish. It’s a stunning love!
Agape love is different and distinct from other kinds of love. Again in the Greek, “Eros” love looks for what it can receive. If it does give, it expects to receive in kind. Eros love is about “my” happiness not so much yours. “Phileo” love is affection, fondness or liking for another. It is higher than Eros love because it seeks “our” happiness rather than “my” happiness. “Storge” love is the natural love all human’s experience. We see this in the love of a husband for his wife, the love of a mother for her child. It’s our nature to love those that belong to us. Yet these fall short of Agape love. They fall short because even unsaved people love in these ways.
Agape love brings glory to God because it can only be done by God. Jesus said “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35. Do you see the phrase “just as I have loved you”? This is a call beyond the Eros, Phileo and Storge love the world gives. It is a call to love like God does. That can only be done in His power. Pray for the desire and ability to love like He did. Failure to love like that comes from not knowing God. You can’t give what you don’t have.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:8