Did you know that on Amazon.com, in their library of books, there are 2,652 book titles that have “heaven” somewhere in the title. There are 10,304 books with “money” in the title; 16,765 with “sex”; 18,818 with “God”. Here it comes. Drum roll please: There are 30,066 books on Amazon.com with the word “love” in the title.
With Valentine’s day right around the corner, we will hear this word “love” even more.
And there is no question that this word is misunderstood and misused every single nano second.
Consider this love letter:
Dear Jimmy, I am most regretful that we broke up. I’m so sorry for this. You will always be my love. So, I am asking you to take me back. You will be in my heart forever. I love you; I love you; I love you.
P.S. And, congratulations on winning the lottery.
Some people will tell you that love is strictly an emotion. But that’s not what God’s Word says. God tells us that love is sacrificial; that it is demonstrated.
In 1 Corinthians 13 God tells us exactly what love is and what love is not. Here are the first three verses (NKJV)
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.
So God in heaven is saying, “no matter how much I know – or how much great wisdom I may speak, no matter if I utter incredible mysteries that wow the masses, I might as well be honking my horn in bumper to bumper traffic, unless I do it with love.
No matter what I do – praying for people, visiting people, helping people… without love it is utterly meaningless.
No matter how much I give of myself – I can be the humblest, most giving person on earth – even give up my life for my faith – but if I am not flowing in God’s love I might as well not do it.”
What kind of love is this? Every time the word “love” appears in this chapter it is the Greek word “agape.” This is different from other forms of the word “love” in Greek. Phileo is another Greek word for love; the idea of brotherly love or friendship. The city of Philadelphia gets its name from this word. Eros is another Greek word for love. We get the word “erotic” from this word.
“Agape” as a word, didn’t appear until the New Testament times. It is a selfless love – the love of God towards Jesus and towards us. It’s not a love of word but a love of action without regard to self-interest.
“Agape” love is the character of God. 1 John 4:8 says, Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
We just read in the scripture that without love we are nothing. This means that everything we strive for, who we want to be, what we want to do, how we want people to think of us, what we want to accomplish – EVERYTHING SHOULD GO THROUGH THIS FILTER – “AM I DOING THIS WITH AGAPE LOVE?”
And, remember that it is from the Holy Spirit that we get the power to live this kind of love. Don’t think you can find it in worldly philosophy or being religious. Only a person who says, “Jesus is Lord” can exhibit this kind of love.
I pray you have a lovely Valentine’s Day. And, prayerfully you will have it with “AGAPE LOVE.”