Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Agape: Is Love An Action Word....Or What?

The Bible makes it clear that Love is more than a choice. Real love comes from the heart, and is an emotional experience as well as an action and an intellectual understanding and a position of the will.

1 Timothy 1:5
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

1 Peter 1:22
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

Now it is true of people, we are very impressionable. If we act happy we are going to eventually feel happy. If we say thank you as often as we can, we are going to become more thankful people. If we fall into the habit of complaining, we are going to find ever more things to complain about, and if we indulge in crabbiness, we will become ever more irritable. It just is what it is. Everything we do has to be intentional.

But this is not the whole story.

What I'm saying is that the bar set for us is very high. Not only must we choose to do what is loving, the source of that choice is to flow frm the emotion of love as well.

If you really do have the Spirit of Christ living within you, then you have all the right feelings and right thinking already within you. You have the Mind of Christ. However, there is this struggle with the old nature, which constantly wrestles for control.

So you, for example, state with confidence: I have the Spirit of Christ, I have the Mind of Christ. I know that Christ loves this person. I will act lovingly towards this person, while praying that the Lord will release from deep within my heart (in which He dwells) the genuine flood of love He has for this person. I will pray that He will help me to own that love, so that the love will flow from Jesus and me. In the meantime, I will not continue to sin against this person by treating them in an unloving way, and I will not continue to grieve the Lord by sinning and treating someone He loves in an unloving manner.

How would it be, then, if God's agape towards you was one merely of choice, but not of genuine heart love? He really doesn't like you that much, but since being loving towards you is "the right thing to do," He does it? Exactly. Now you see my point.

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