What Is Agape Love?

The first weeks of 2005 I plan to spend sharing with my readers a series of short articles based on the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians. It is called the love chapter. All Christians need to know and practice this kind of love. Those who love God and love each other are blessed.

Agape love is defined by what God did in sending Jesus to this world to die for sinners. It is what we are to do toward God and toward each other. It is a spirit of caring for and sacrificing for the object of our love. Agape love for God and for each other is the foundation of God’s word. Without this kind of love, all of our actions are in vain.

For example, John shows that love for each other is true evidence of God’s spirit working in the lives of Christians, 1 John 4:7-12 – “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” NIV

If we are able to watch the news of the victims of the Tsunami without feeling the desire to help them, we probably do not have Agape love for our fellow man. This love is not based on what people deserve, or what we can receive in return, but it is based on what we can give. God gave Jesus. We are to give ourselves to God. And we are to love and help those who have need as we have opportunity.

Great blessings came from our efforts to save orphans whose parents had been drowned in the super cyclone of Oct 29, 1999, in India. The Stevenson Church of Christ gave $24,000 for that project, and you can see the fruit of that gift today in the lives of the children who have been loved and nurtured by their caregiver family. Roger Wiemers just returned from Puri, Orissa, where Grace Home is located, with good news of the construction of the school building and additional rooms for the home. The children are doing extremely well, and we are blessed to have had a part in sharing God’s love with these helpless children. You can see the home and children on our website, http://www.ibsresources.org

Helping the victims of the Tsunami is more difficult, because I do not have many contacts in that area. However, one friend of mine reported the deaths of three fishermen from his congregation in Kakinada, leaving three widows and children. Perhaps that is a good opportunity for me to help using limited resources in a small way.

We have many opportunities to show love to helpless people, and sometimes it is difficult for us to decide what to do, since we cannot help all. I think that we should help the ones we have opportunity to help, according to our ability, giving the glory and praise to Jesus. Every good thing we have is a gift from him, and he told us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Agape love gives without expecting to receive. It gives by personal sacrifice. It gives because we see the value in other human beings.

John 3:16-17 - "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” NIV

Since God loved us like that, we ought to love Him and each other.

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