02 January, 2013
The Agape Love Of God!
I find that when it comes to Agape love, I am in the dark and I have so much to learn about it. I found out, we grow and learn how to make use of it only as we grow with God in union with Christ. I was amazed to see as we grow in our union with Christ, the Agape love of God grows so fast in our hearts like a plant near the water. May be other people reading this post will say I knew that. But, you see, I did not. If you are walking with God to a point where you already knew that, I say kudos to you and to Him be the glory!
This Agape love of His has become the center point in my life. The reason is, a few months ago someone who has been Christian for decades, in words and rituals only, I know this person for years yet, I have yet to see an ounce of growth or changes in his/her life. Another thing about this person is that he/she despised being surrounded by true Christians and only feel comfortable if you are a nominal Christian, then you are fit for his/her friendship.
It was strange how strongly this person felt the need to correct me for having a lack of tolerance for Christians and unbelievers alike who have knowingly chosen to live in sin for years and not be bothered by it. One of the examples during the conversation was something like a pastor being openly gay while walking the Christian path. I chose to shrug it all that day because the Holy Spirit showed me there was malice behind it all and I was being tempted by that person. So, I keep quiet to avoid the trap of a heated discussion with a spiritually blind person who is not willing to do anything that has anything to do with God’s Word.
Knowing God the way I do, and knowing how much He hates sin and every single little detail in the world that is not in harmony with Him, grieve Him so much. I became hesitant that my past experiences of God’s wailing for this world and what we have made of Christ and His Salvation had affected my judgement in my hatred for sin whether in me or in someone else. I used the experience of what had happened with this person, to examine myself and see if I am acting in the light of God’s Word and nature.
Since then, I have been in conversation with God and I became mindful of God’s Agape love and the use of it. My only desire, the only thing I want to get out of it, is to love other people in a way that is pleasing to God. I want to be mindful of loving even the unlovable because I don’t want to take away my love for others just because they do not meet with my expectations. God keeps reminding me that there is a balance in loving that has to be sought after and we get there only through Him. He brought it to my attention on several occasions and every time I am reading the Bible, if there is something that pertains to His love, you can be sure He will remind me of it. For instance, Paul taught us to grieve for Christians who continue in sin. He taught us to be mindful in our dealing with Christians with questionable characters and corrupt behavior because they could lead us as well on the wrong path if we insist on keeping their companies. While love teaches us to be patient, bear each other’s burden, to love those that are different from us etc, we also know when to admonish and when to administer reproof in love, humility and gentleness.
As God reminded me, while He loves the world, and wailed for those that are perishing (in or outside the Church) but not everyone will go to heaven. It is actually His Holy love that demands that He is true to Himself. As for this person who tried to tempt me into a quarrel with him/her, God enlighten me about the man that Paul had to deal with in 1 Corinthians 5 because of sexual immorality. The Corinthians actually tolerated him but Paul passed judgement on him and told the Church to get rid of him. There are times in using Agape love we know not to tolerate people who knowingly chose to sin, is the right thing to do so. This does not mean you take your love away, but you make a choice between them and God until they are able to come to their senses, then you are to open your heart and accept them back with open arms, in your life.
The Agape love of God can be misunderstood drastically, especially by those who chose not to walk the walk. The Agape love of God, while it has no limit and is basically bottomless when it comes to its depth, God can only be loyal to Himself because He is holy and just. Furthermore, the Agape love we are using is not even ours but God’s love sheds in our heart to rise up to the occasion. I find myself in situation sometimes where I have no idea how to apply His Agape love because things might not be so black and white. But, I am learning to depend on Him to teach me how to reach a balance and apply His Agape love in all circumstances in my life, so that I can honour Him, while wearing the badge of Christianity.
I find it somewhat bizarre how Christians are writing about Agape love and their focus is so much on emotions, attitude, choices etc, yet when you are using true Agape love, first of all you are aware of the fact that it is not yours for the taking, IT BELONGS TO GOD, IT IS PART OF GOD - PERIOD! The next thing is that while He is a passionate God, so you would think Agape love would involve passion. Well not really! This is not to say that Agape love does not have emotions in it, in fact it does because there is no being more passionate than God. My personal opinion is that God removes those emotions for us because we are already inundated with the wrong emotions when it comes to love, that we do not need to feel them as we use His Agape love.
It is my experience while we are using His Agape love to interact with others, He makes sure the only concerns we are involved with are His priorities. There is an overwhelming sense of His priorities that is not of this world and one of them is that all our actions are for His sake. We also have a sense of justice, fairness, righteousness and His Holiness. Then the next big thing that permeates the use of Agape love is the compulsion of being mindful of His glory. It is as if you cannot use Agape love without glorifying Him. There is an attitude that comes with it and whether we are aware of it or not, the glory has to go back to God. When you experience the beauty of His Agape love, in fact you have no use for any kind of love; you realize the pettiness, and the shallowness of Eros and Philos love.
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1john 4:8)