You are perfect in love and in all your plans and purposes — agape love

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.     ―  1 John 4:8

God is love—love is the defining, foundational, and central characteristic of God’s nature. The kind of love that is God, in Greek, is known as agape.  It is NOT a love based on attraction (romantic relationships), obligation (parental relationships, or shared interests (friendship relationships).  Instead, the agape love of God is:

  • selfless and sacrificial (Jn 15:13, Rom 5:8, 1 Cor 13:4-6)
  • holy and pure (Jn 4:7-11, Rom 5:5, 1 Cor 13:6)
  • overflowing (Ps 69:13, Joel 2:13)
  • unconditional (Eph 5:1, Ps 86:15, Rom 8:35)
  • unending (1 Chr 16:34, Ps 51; 52:8, 1 Cor 13:8)
  • reveling (Zeph 3:17)

The mark of Christ emblazoned on the life of a disciple is the outpouring of agape, which has been embedded into his or her heart by the Holy Spirit, to the people around them.

God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.     ―  Romans 5:5b

When we are growing in Christlikeness we are growing in agape.  By contrast, all that is anti-agape (selfish, unholy, conditional, limited, etc) is anti-Christ; that is,  not according to the perfect plans and purposes of God.  What does this agape look like in the life of increasingly Christlike believer? Paul’s words to the Corinthian church (1 Cor 13:4-8) and to the Galatian church (Gal 5:22-23) give us some clues.  Agape love is—

  • patient and peaceful
  • kind and consistent
  • humble and hopeful
  • authentic and ready to serve
  • honoring and respectful to others
  • forgiving and faithful
  • truthful and trustworthy
  • joyful and persevering
  • nurturing and never-ending
  • persevering
  • good and gentle

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love…against such things there is no law.     ―  1 Corinthians 13:13 and Galatians 5:23



→ If I must err, let it be in the direction of love… 

 

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