Friday, June 26, 2009

Love: Going Deeper in the Word

"? ?e�? ???p? ?st??" (God Is Love) o...

In our English translation (HCSB) the word love (in all its forms) appears more than 700 times in the Bible. Over 300 times in the new testament. And around 90 times in the Gospels. Love is good news. John 3:16 tells us that it was love that motivated God to send His son to save us. This love is available to us as a result. There is on type of love that is particularly special. That Love is Agape. Agape appears around 140 times in the New Testament. The word Agape first appears in Christ's teaching in Matthew 5:43-48 on how Christians are to treat their enemies. It is a love that is greater than the feelings of animosity that we have for the person who has treated us the worst (our enemy)! Jesus teaches in this passage that in the world it is "love your neighbor and hate your enemies, but I tell you love your enemies." We are to pray for them (no not that God would strike them dead, though we might like it if he did). He challenges Christians to a higher standard in love. He calls on us to love perfectly as God loves perfectly (verse 48). We get a glimpse of this kind of perfect love in 1 Corinthians 13. What else does the Bible have to say about this love?

It is... Passage
exclusive Matthew 6:24
to be directed toward our neighbors Matthew 19:19
Matthew 22:39
to be directed (fully) toward God Matthew 22:37
Jesus' affection for the lost Mark 12:30
doing good to an enemy Luke 6:27
giving expecting nothing in return Luke 6:35
transcendent of racial, ethnic, national and cultural barriers Luke 7:5
given as an expression of thankfulness for forgiveness Luke 7:47
God's (the Father) affection toward His Son Jesus John 3:35
Loving Jesus which is Loving God John 8:42
Sacrificial John 10:17
Compassionate at someone's loss John 11:5
Humbled to the position of servant washing another's feet (even the one that is about to betray you to death) John 13:1-6
obedient to God's commandments John 14:15
itself a commandment John 13:34
the place that God abides John 14:23
the revelation of God John 14:15
steadfast (remains) John 15:9
unity with God and other Christians John 17:23
eternal John 17:24
knowing and being known by God John 17:26
God's working out good for those that express Agape toward Him Romans 8:28
victory Romans 8:37
to be our only debt toward others Romans 13:8=9
waits on God 1 Corinthians 2:9 and Isaiah 64:4
self-sacrificing 2 Corinthians 12:15
God's favor Ephesians 1:6
Christ's sacrifice Ephesians 5:2
commanded of husbands toward their wives Ephesians 5:25-33
undying Ephesians 6:24
God's discipline Hebrews 12:6
God's reward James 1:12
believing in what is not seen (faith) 1 Peter 1:8
pure 1 Peter 1:22
keeps itself from evil 1 Peter 3:10
more than words 1 John 3:18

There is much more, but I think that will do for now ;-)

I encourage you to take this list and look them up in your Bible, Pray over them, Ask God to reveal the love of God to you hearts, and read them again. Ask God to not only reveal the love, but that love might become the evidence that He is in you. Love toward others is the greatest testimony of the Gospel there is!!!

Have a Blessed Day!