The Meaning of Agape!

Matthew 5.pngYou have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you. love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get” Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.                                              Matthew 5:43-48

 The Greek word agape is often translated “love” in the New Testament. How is “agape love” different from other types of love? The essence of agape love is goodwill, benevolence, and willful delight in the object of love. Unlike our English word loveagape is not used in the New Testament to refer to romantic or sexual love. Nor does it refer to close friendship or brotherly love, for which the Greek word philia is used. Agape love involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will. It is distinguished from the other types of love by its lofty moral nature and strong character. Agape love is beautifully described in 1 Corinthians 13.

Jesus never said to love our enemies with the same love we have for our loved ones. It would be totally impossible and it wouldn’t be right. The essence of the word is different. This is quite another kind of love. For example, our love for our loved ones is different, we can’t help loving them. Then there is love that we describe as falling in love. We don’t have to go and look for this love. It comes to us and it is born from the emotions in the heart. But in the case of our enemies, love is not only something from the heart, it also includes something of the will. It is not something that comes spontaneously, we must will ourselves to do it. It is a victory and triumph over what comes to us instinctively.

Agape doesn’t mean the feeling of the heart, that which we cannot help and which is born without us asking for it. It is through determination of the mind that we want to demonstrate unconquerable good to those who wish to harm us. Agape is the ability to love those we don’t like and who don’t like us. We can only have agape if Christ enables us to overcome our natural tendency towards anger and bitterness.

So it is clear and explicit that the last thing agape or Christian love means is to allow others to do exactly as they please. This means that Christian discipline and punishment should not be aimed at vengeance, but at healing.

Love of God is the root, love our neighbor the fruit of the Tree of Life. Neither can exist without the other, but the one is cause and the other effect. (William Temple)

 

Prayer: Holy Spirit of God, help me to have the ability to love my enemies with Christian love.            Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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We are Called to Love and Not Hate

Romans 12Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with  everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written. “It is mine to avenge, I will repay says the Lord. On the contrary. If your enemy is hungry, feed them, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink, In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.     (Romans 12:17-21)

These words from the Apostle Paul is very hard to live by especially when you have been hurt by someone. When the wounds are deep from anyone what we all seem to want to do is to hurt the person who had hurt us or someone in our family especially when it comes to our children. This is why it is so important for all of us to stay in God’s word and meditate on what he is telling us. The easy thing once someone hurts us is to do the same however God doesn’t want us to do it, Jesus tells us we should love one another even our enemies, and I know that it hard for us to do. Can you ever imagine if we all did this, to love all mankind even when they hurt us his on purpose. The only thing that hates does to anyone is to destroy, families are torn apart, friendship, marriages and more all because of hate. You can not say you Love God and hate your brother, sister why because God is love and to know God is to love all mankind no matter how different they are to us, no matter what they have done, we are all called to love one another. This is the reason we need to have a walk with God because when we do we are more likely to do the things of good and not evil.

Forgive us Heavenly Father for not loving others the way you love us each and everyday, help us to continue to walk with you, and help us to love the way you love us.

In Jesus Name we Pray

Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

 

Love Your Enemies

enemies.pngYou have heard that it was said.” Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. That you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to raise on the evil and the good, and send rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.                        Matthew 5:43-48

Love your enemies! wow Jesus expects us to do this one, I am not too sure of that. It is never easy to forgive someone especially when they cause so much pain on you, rather physically or emotional. However, that is what Jesus is telling all of us to do. Remember what Jesus said to the ones that were crucifying him, he says “Father Forgive them”, for they do not know what they are doing.”                            Luke 23:34

He is telling God the creator of this universe to forgive you and to forgive me, no matter how many times we seem to mess up, God is always willing to forgive us, shouldn’t we do the same to our enemies. No I don’t know what someone may of done to you, but God does, we need to Let Go and Let God be in control of the whole situation, and forgiveness help us as well because we don’t carry with us forever the feeling of hatred inside for another human being. When you come to that moment and you find it very hard to do ask God to help you and believe me he will.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friend