He that Loveth not knoweth not God; For God is Love.
-I John 4:8
In this passage the Scripture states that God is Love. It also states that if we aren’t Loving others, we don’t know God. This is a bold and challenging truth that we must understand fully in order to walk in it.
But what is Love exactly? Is the scripture speaking about a human type of love that weakens when people stop acting the way we would like them to? Maybe it is speaking about benevolent goodwill towards others. If we take a look at the Greek word for love in this passage, you will see the word agape. Agape means the love of God or in simpler terms, the God kind of love.
What is the God kind of love?
As a believer in the Lord Jesus, it is always best to let scripture interpret scripture. First Corinthians 13 gives us the answer:
I Corinthians 13:4-8 (Amplified)
4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].
In my next post we will dive in to the individual characteristics of agape Love.
Heavenly Father, thank you for shedding your Love abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which you have given to us. We ask that you open the eyes of our understanding concerning what you have already done, so that we may walk in it fully, showing your love to the world.
In Jesus name, Amen.