How's Your Love Life?
- 2003 13 Feb
The world is desperate for love. But often we misunderstand the meaning of true love. So we use the word love very casually: I love pizza. I love my Honda. I love my baby.
To find the meaning of true love, we have to go back to the Word of God because God Himself is love. The word agape is one of the rarest words in the ancient Greek language and literature, but it's commonly used in the New Testament.
Unlike our English word love, agape never refers to romantic feelings or sexual love. It doesn't refer to brotherly love or having warm feelings about someone or something.
Real love-agape love-is a God-quality. We don't have it naturally. We have to have God in our lives to have agape love.
Someone has said that genuine love is totally giving of ourselves to meet the needs of others, without expecting anything in return. It's easy sometimes to meet the needs of another person, but often we have a hidden desire for that love to be reciprocated. We're serving so that we will receive in return. But genuine love doesn't expect anything in return.
The supreme measure of love
Agape love-the love that starts in the heart of God and that He wants to put into our hearts-is not a feeling. Rather, it is a determined act of our will that always results in determined acts of self-giving. The supreme measure of agape love is God's love for us.
Romans 5 tells us that when we were powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. When we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son. God loved us not because we deserved it, but just because He is love.
Perhaps you can't remember ever being an enemy of God. But according to God's Word, each of us was at one time God's enemy. We were bent on rebellion against God, even as young children. The Scripture says that when I was in that condition, when I had nothing to offer God, He loved me. He demonstrated that love in the supreme act of self-sacrifice: "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16, NKJV).
Jesus came to help us see what the love of God looks like. Jesus is God Incarnate, God in the flesh. John 13 tells us that "having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end" (v. 1). He loved them to the full extent of love. And how did He demonstrate His love? He got down and washed the disciples' feet.
Love is selfless, humble service to meet the needs of another person, no matter how lowly or menial that service may seem-and no matter how undeserving is the recipient of that love. Scripture tells us this kind of love ought to be the supreme characteristic of the people of God. In fact, Jesus said, "That's how people will know that you belong to Me" (John 13:34-35).
Don't miss Part Two tomorrow!
Excerpted from How's Your Love Life? by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Copyright © 2001. Used by permission of Life Action Ministries, Buchanan, Michigan. Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an author, conference speaker, and host of Revive Our Hearts, a daily radio program for women heard on over 240 stations nationwide. To order copies of this booklet, or for additional information, contact: www.ReviveOurHearts.com.