If You Loved Someone this Way, You’ll Die. (Valentine’s Day Love Post #2)
I love Chris Tomlin’s music. Don’t you? Check out the video below. The good peeps at Advent Conspiracy created it with his song. It’s great!
Used with permission.
So what about love? Agape love?
We say we love chocolate and roses. And kisses. Chocolate kisses. And real kisses. 😉
Football and fishin’. Reading and writing. God and people.
But agape love is different. It’s more meaningful, right? Actually, the depth and width of this kind of love is unfathomable. 1 John 4:9-10 says why.
9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (NKJV, BibleGateway.com)
In his book, Maximum Joy, Dr. David Anderson brings out 4 very cool ingredients to God’s agape.
1. Agape is all giving. John writes, “…the love of God was manifested toward us.” It was freely given. My dad is the executive director at Camp Pearl Ministries. One of the cool things he does there is train teens to be leaders. He calls them SWAT. Or, Servants Worthy and True. Among their few and profound statements by which they live is this: We give without expecting anything in return. That’s precisely the way it is with agape. God gives agape knowing that many will not love in return. It’s just freely given by Him. Even if no one gives back, He still gives.
2. Agape is sacrificial. He continues, “…that God has sent His only begotten Son.” I have a son. His name is Jonathan, and he’s 12-years-old. In a couple weeks, we get to spend the whole weekend together at the Christian Film Festival in San Antonio, TX. I love spending time with my boy. I love him very much. With all my heart. I could never, ever send him away to die for someone. But God did. For you and me. Incredible, isn’t it? That’s agape. It’s sacrificial.
3. Agape is given to those who don’t deserve it. John states that God sent His Son “into the world.” That would be us. Those who don’t deserve something as perfect and special as agape. Many, if not most, of those for whom He died have and will reject Him. None of us deserve Him. He knew that, but He willingly died anyway.
4. Agape takes initiative. “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us…” That’s agape. That’s how He rolls. He didn’t wait for me to come to Him. He came to me.
Guess what? John also wrote verse 11, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” That means we ought to love one another the same way God loves us. All giving. Sacrificially. Even toward those who don’t deserve it. And we take initiative–we make the first move.
How do we do this?
We die to ourselves. Our selfish desires, selfish dreams, causes, thoughts, ideas. We come second. Others come first.
The world doesn’t understand this. Agape is other-worldly. It’s supernatural. You and I can’t muster it up from ourselves. It only comes from the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
It’s His special Valentine to us: Jesus. Agape.
Give it away.
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