(The word that is blurred is LOVE)
The above graphic is a visual presentation of the dynamic of agape love. In the English language we only have the one word, Love; but in the Greek language there are several words for love. I will only list three of them as they cover the concept of love quite well. The first word in the Greek is the word ‘eros’ which is the word that means sexual love. It is not used in the New Testament. The second word is the word, ‘phileo’, which is where we get the name Philadelphia which means brotherly love. It is the highest kind of love that man can know apart from God. It is the type of love a man has for his wife, or a parent for their child. The third type of love is ‘agape‘ which is God’s kind of love and is seen in John 3:16 where God love so much that He gave His best – His only Son. This type of love cannot be known apart from God imparting it to a man. and it finds its expression in four ways.
First, love God with all your heart, mind and soul. This is referenced in Deut 4:5, Matt. 12:37, and Mark 22:30. God is the only thing that gives real purpose to life for He is eternal in being whereas this world and all that is in it is passing away. You will most certainly leave this world when you die and everything will be left behind.
Second, we should love one another, that is the brethren or fellow Christians. John 13:35, 15:12 We begin to love like God when we love the Brethren. That is to cherish the value of and the nature of one another. We are also eternal because that is what God gives us when we place our faith in Him, eternal life. We are not yet completed yet so it does not yet appear what we shall be but we know that we shall be like Him. The world will know that we are born again because we love one another. How can we say we love God whom we have not seen, when we love not our brother whom we have seen and he was made in the similitude of God?
Thirdly, we should love our neighbor as ourselves. Lev 19:18, Mark 12:31 It has been said that the only thing that you can make a man out of is a boy. The same thing is true also, that the only thing that you can make a Christian out of is a human person. We all came into this world with a sin nature and we all commit sin. We want to be loved and understood so we should also love and understand that we travel the same road. Some of us have already begun our journey of walking with the Lord and are in the process of transformation and other will begin that journey for themselves in the future. Each person should be valued with the view of what God can transform them into and not for their current failures.
Finally, we should love our enemies. Matt 5:44, Lu 6:27 This one is harder to understand but it is just as true. Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. God is able to work all things together for GOOD, which includes those things that we count as wrong, unfair, painful, mean, etc. Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. The problems of life only refine us to make us better. The events of life will either make you better or make you bitter but the choice is yours. and again in Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. If God can use the likes of Pharaoh and wicked Cyrus for His purposes then we should thank God for trusting us to overcome evil with good. The harshest people in our live often shape us into the greatest tools in God’s toolbox. Who knows but what you may be the influence that brings them into the light of Christ?