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"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty" (Psalm 91:1) 
REFLECTIONS
Week of 2/11/2018


The Meaning of Love

The true meaning of love, as defined in the Bible, has been corrupted in the common usage of our English language and society. Most often, love is confused with infatuation - that elated, "high" feeling we get when we "fall in love." This kind of "love" is something that lasts typically less than a year, and unless replaced by true love, results in broken relationships.

Origin of Love

The Bible indicates that love is from God. In fact, the Bible says "God is love." Love is one of the primary characteristics of God. Likewise, God has endowed us with the capacity for love, since we are created in His image. This capacity for love is one of the ways in which we are "created in the image of God."

Different Kinds of Love

The Greek language (the language of the New Testament) uses two different words to describe and define love. The most commonly used Greek word translated "love" in the New Testament is "agape." This love is represented by God's love for us. It is a non-partial, sacrificial love probably best exemplified by God's provision for our rebellion:

"For God so loved (agape) the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

The gift of God's son as a provision for sin was given to all humans, regardless of who we are. God's love is unconditional.

In contrast, our love is usually conditional and based upon how other people behave toward us. This kind of love is based upon familiarity and direct interaction. The Greek word "phileo" defines this kind of love, often translated "brotherly love." Phileo is a soulish (connected through our emotions) kind of love - something that can be experienced by both believers and non-believers. This is in contrast to agape, which is love extended through the spirit. Agape love requires a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, since the non-regenerated soul is unable to love unconditionally. Agape love gives and sacrifices expecting nothing back in return.

 


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Pastor James (Jim) Price
pastor@farmvillechurchofchrist.org

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So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.  Romans 12: 5-8