Friday, July 15, 2011

Thoughts on AGAPE Love

Hello friends!  Thanks for taking time to check in on me.  I just wanted to share a little about my spiritual life right now.  It was difficult for a deep, quiet time during Emma's first year.  She was very inconsistent with her sleeping patterns and taking very short, unpredictable naps.  It the past I tried to have my alone time with God during nap time, but with not much time available this last year it has taken me a while to get back in a routine.  I am now doing a study and getting lots more time to spend with the creator of the world daily.  Emma is now 1 year old and taking one long nap at the same time as Drew (my 3 1/2 year old).  The past year felt a little dry in my relationship with the Lord, I was reading my scripture daily (usually) but it really felt like I was "just going through the motions."  It was for a season though, and I stayed at it.  I am learning sooo much right now from God.  It is so true "Come near to God and he will come near to you." James 4:8.  

Just wanted to share a few thoughts and revelations I have been experiencing, mainly to do with Agape Love.  Quick back ground: there are 3 types of love mentioned in the bible: "Eros": meaning longing or desire; more of a physical love like that you would share with your spouse.  "Philos": meaning the love that you have for a friend, someone you hold in high esteem, and lastly "Agape": meaning a SELFLESS love for another, a caring love.  

Agape is what I want to focus on for just a few minutes.  I am doing the "Living Beyond Yourself" Bible study by Beth Moore, and has been my favorite study EVER, this is my 2nd time doing it.  God really speaks through her, and even more so his Word to me.  Most of what I am going to point out is from this study.

Agape is the kind of love referred to in the famous love chapter 1 Corinthians 13.  As it is broken down and each characteristic is defined it sheds a lot of light on how I as a believer should be acting.  Here is the entire passage, and I then I will mention to what God put on my heart or I guess I should say compelled me to share:

"1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13

I have heard and memorized this scripture since I was in junior high.  Every time I read it God reveals to me a new truth.  Isn't it amazing how his Word is living?

Agape Love is Patient-actual definition: "a person who is able to revenge herself but refrains from doing so".  I have NEVER thought of patience as that! And I already messed up in this recently, not letting God be my avenger and taking matters in to my own hands.  I have since repented and asked forgiveness isn't it nice to know he casts our sins as far as the east is from the west?

Agape Love is Kind- actual definition "to show oneself useful".  Not just being sweet in your words, but making yourself useful.  Interesting!

Agape Love does not Boast- not bragging about yourself, being humble, what a lovely quality.  "Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:31

Agape Love is not easily Angered- "The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in (Agape)love." Psalm 145:8 "We cannot be rich in love and quick to anger" -Beth Moore

Agape Love Always Protects- actually defined as "to cover over in silence".  In other words it does not expose the faults of others.  HUGE!  This probably meant the most to me!  Wouldn't it be nice if we all did this.  One of my life verses is: " 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29   Let us STRIVE to only build other people up.  I ask the Spirit to "poke" me when I am not doing that, he sure does.  Sometimes I choose to listen and other times I fail, it is a constant struggle but I am working on it and praying for strength in this area of my life.  If you hear me in the wrong feel free to call me out, "Are you exposing someone's faults?  Are you building them up? "  

Agape never fails- "to be without effect, to be in vain".  The action of Agape love is NEVER in vain.

"Agape is a divine love. It's only origin is in the heart of God.  Agape begins with a response (and an action) and ends with a feeling." ~Beth Moore

We aren't capable of loving people like this by ourselves, we ARE only capable of loving like this through the Holy Spirit.  Let's not quench the Spirit, but be open to His prompting.  I find the more I am obedient and more I follow his leading (however awkward it might be) the more I hear Him!

Just something that has been on my heart lately!

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