Agape Love

God is Love

I got to attend another amazing fellowship last night at our home church, the Freedom Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan and it really got my spirit thinking.  I love it when Daddy challenges my theology in a way that I know he is growing me.  Last night we were talking about God being Love and what exactly that looks like.  We also were looking at our perception of God and what attributes we believed about him ourselves and why we believed those things.

Needless to say he revealed to me some things that I am believing about him that simply are not true, things I had been taught in the past that I had just taken as fact that were not the true representations of Him and His true nature and character.  This morning he lead me to 1 John 4, so lets start by taking a look at these amazing scriptures. Get your coffee around and get ready to dig in.

1 John 4:7-16

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

Agape Love God love is so eloquently described for us in 1 Corinthians 13 which we will get to in a bit.  Love is from God, and Him alone, our ability show agape is not out of our own strength or accord but out of being given that agape love by God. We are only able to give what we have received as a free gift.  When we accept the Love of the Father are born of Him as it states in verse 7.  Those who do not truly know God can not bear Agape Love because it is not by our hands but God’s alone. God is love. He loved us so very much that the only expression of His love that would have been worthy of us, or equal to us was to come in the flesh Himself, as Jesus, so that we could live through him and not our own works and efforts. (verse 9)

It is in this Love, His love for us, not our love for Him that we can even love.  We love because He first loved us. (verse 10) He is calling us to love others, but we can only do that when we first have accepted his love,  it is from the overflow of his loved poured out on us that we can love in that way.  Love is a fruit of the spirit, it was never meant for us to bring forth in our own lives it was only meant for us to bear. John 15 talks about bearing the fruit of the spirit.  Bearing means to carry not to produce, a quick greek study reveals that truth. We can not create the real fruits of the spirit in our lives, trying to do so only brings about cheap imposters that will never fully last or satisfy.

Some read verse 12 as a to do list.  If we love one another than God will abide in us and his love is perfected in us.  What if however we read it as a showing of what happens when we abide in God? Than it would read more like, because God’s Spirit abides in us, his love is perfected in us, therefore love one another.

Why read it like this? Because just a few verses above this he says, “In this is love, not that we have loved God.” It’s not about us, it’s all about Him. Again, Love is not something we do it’s something we bear, it’s the spirit of God in us that gives us His fruit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, and Self Control). We know that we abide in Him when we have His spirit. (v13) Verse 15 shows you that whoever confesses (homologeó-to agree with, speak the same as) God abides in him and he in God. We come to know and to believe the love that God has for us as we abide.  God is LOVE, and whoever abides in Love (God), God abides in Him. (verse16) There is a lot more to say on abiding.  I’ve done a few posts on that if you would like to search for them in the search bar for more information.

1 John 4:7-8

Beloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God,because God is love.

Many of us know God but truly do not know Him, we don’t know who He is.  There is always more to know about God which is why relationship with him is so exciting.  Let’s take a look at 1 Corinthians now and get a better look at God.  These verses are about God love, or really God. They are a great revealing of some of the characteristics of God Himself.

 

God does not merely love; He is love itself.

1 Cor. 13:4-8

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 
Love never fails.
If we replace Love with God, here is what we get.
God is patient and kind
God does not envy or boast.
He is not proud.
He does not dishonor others.
He is not self seeking.
He is not easily angered.
God keeps no record of wrongs.
God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
God never fails.
Now go back through the list above and ask yourself, do you know that God? Can you agree with each of the characteristics of God as we can see above? Do you believe God is patient and kind? Do you believe God does not envy or boast? What about he is not self seeking, or keeps no records of wrongs?
As I worked through these last night I realized a few that I did not believe about God, a few that I realized I had some wrong perceptions about due to past teachings. For example, God is not self-seeking. I had some lingering belief that I was created to serve God, that he created me to worship him.  If he isn’t self seeking than those things could not be true.  I than had to look to Daddy to help me see the truth.  Why did he create me? What was the purpose of creating me?  He showed me that He created me to share life with me, to walk in the garden and talk with me, to experience intimacy with Him.  He did not create me to be His slave, He did not need me to sing His praises that was not his reason for my creation.  Do I sing His praises, absolutely but not out of obligation but out of the overflow of understanding how amazing he is.  Do I serve Him? Absolutely, but not out of trying to earn but out of my love for him.  That love that I am able to pour out because of the Spirit, His Spirit that lives in me.
What if you read that list and don’t believe that God always protected you? Or provided for you? Would you be willing to ask him to show you how he protected you, to show you how he provided from you? Sometimes we are looking for his protection and provision in certain ways and really miss what he is doing and did, if we ask he will show us.
God I just ask that you would reveal more of yourself to each of us today, that you would convince us of the truth of who you are.  God I ask that we would be open to being wrong in any of our perceptions of you so that we can get to know the real you.  God show us who you truly are, reveal yourself more and more to our hearts, thank you for the opportunity to know you. Thank you for your love for us, thank you for seeing us as valuable, show us what we look like in your own eyes. Persuade us. Amen.

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