The Greatest Commandment

John 15 d.png     Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them an expert in the law; tested him with this question: Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is like it, Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the Prophets hand on these two commandments.”         Matthew 22:34-40

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was one of the great Christian thinkers of the twentieth century. He gave up his safe job as a teacher in America at the outbreak of the second world war to return to Germany. He was deeply aware of the sacrifices it would mean for him because of his opposition to the Nazi rule. He found great comfort in the compassion of his friends whose reputations and lives were at stake because they visited him in prison. 

Love is made up of little things. Although romantic love is an important matter, for some the most important thing in the world, is that God’s love that worked in the thought and hearts of His disciples, also manifested in the little and in deeds. Words and deeds mean the world to those who receive them. Are you having doubts; are you in depths of despair because of finances, relationships, or confusion? Nevertheless look for even the slightest ways in which you can show God’s love to one another. It will benefit them and you, if you remain in Christ and His love.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

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

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