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A Special Kind of Love
by Mark Nickles
1/19/2021 / Salvation
The word “agape” is from the Greek, and indicates an affection and/or benevolence that is self-sacrificial. In other words, agape is a love that puts others first. THIS is the kind of love that God gives, and it is very special.
It is special because it originates with God. First John 4 verses 7 and 8 tell us that love (agape) comes from God, and that God IS love. Agape did not originate with human beings; it originated with God, and is the very essence of His nature. One need look no further than Jesus’ work on the cross to see the self-sacrificial nature of the heavenly Father. As a result, there is no better way for God’s people to be like him than to love others by putting them first.
This love is also special because it has accomplished so much. As mentioned before, it was the force which was behind the sacrifice of Christ for our sins. Verse 9 of 1 John 4 tells us that the Father sent Jesus into the world that people could “live through him”. Placing faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord, based on his sacrificial death and resurrection, takes a person from spiritual death to spiritual life (John 5:24).
Finally, this love is special because of what it proves to the world. Verse 11 of 1 John 4 sets forth the principle that, anyone who is OF God, should love LIKE God. There is a kind of “heavenly logic” at work here; certainly those who are the recipients of such a deep, self-sacrificing love would prioritize showing that same love to others. However, verse 12 indicates another fact about this love: by showing it to others, they will see God in us. In other words, if God’s people want to lead others to faith in Jesus Christ, they will do so by loving as God loves.
If you would like to personally experience this love in your life, my guess is that any Bible-believing church in your area would be happy to show you how to do so. Won't you consider it, today?
Mark Nickles is a husband, father of three, and a pastor in Northeastern Oklahoma. Copyright, Mark A. Nickles.
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