So let’s talk about love.
It’s all over the place; it’s an industry of ideas and images, words and sounds, movies and books, songs and television shows. The word is used at weddings and divorces, birthdays and funerals. It’s used to get lucky and sometimes it’s made. Love has brought peace and sometimes it has started wars. But what is love? Deep down at the core what is love?
Let’s dig in.
Who Is Love?
If you read the book of Acts you’ll come to the story of Ephesus found in chapter 19 of Acts. The long and short of the story is this: Paul finds a dozen guys who kind of know the gospel and from there they work and build the church until they anger the pagans to the point of starting a riot. Now this group believer understood doctrine and teaching it was their bread and butter but they kept overlooking love. So Paul writes them a letter about love and so does their pastor, the Apostle John.
One of the pivotal statements in John’s letter is that “God is love”. He had been writing about love and then he drops the bomb, “You want to know love? It’s who God is”.
Minds. Are. Blown.
God is love.
God is raw, organic existence, untainted by anything and at the heart of His pure essence is love. The one who crated everything and in whom everything finds its purpose didn’t create out of pride or ego but love. So when we drop the “love bomb” what are we saying?
John used the Greek word agape. This word means something along the lines of extreme unconditional, unmerited acceptance and support. It’s an others focused word. And that’s how John describes God. He says that God, at his very core, is unconditional, unmerited love.
What Is Love
Paul writes a letter with a very famous passage about love. 1st Corinthians 13 list some attributes of this “agape” style love and all of them are outward focused. He describes it like this:
Doesn’t have to have its way.
And the best one. Agape doesn’t end.
This love doesn’t end! This love carries on. This love is everlastings. Everything else may pass away but not agape; it keeps on keeping on. Because this love is what God is about.
This love is really love.
Agape is a way of being. It’s a way of structuring our lives so that they reflect who God is. So when we, as Christians, talk about love this is what we are talking about. We are talking about a life that is poured out for the betterment of others; even our enemies. A life that looks more and more like Jesus every day.
So go and live an agape life.