Crazy Little Thing Called Agape Love
Today I’m just thinking bout this crazy little thing called love. Well, it’s not really crazy…nothing could be more sane.. And it’s not, well, erotic love as in making love. It's not affectionate love as in friendship. And it's not kinship as in love that’s connected to family and relatives.
Today I'm thinking about Agape love. It’s the highest form of love. It actually should come along side of the other types of love I mentioned. It is the type of love God has toward us when he gave his only Son Jesus. It strengthens the bond between friends as they walk through life together. It improves the relationship of a man and wife in marriage. And Agape love fortifies the love links in families making them more resilient.
Now, some of us may have been brought up by loving families; some maybe not. You may have parents who severely beat or even abused you… Friends sometimes use and abuse us also… Whatever it was for you in your life, even with the best scenario no one has ever loved you perfectly. No human has ever shown us a perfect example of love. We are all broken sinners… that is, except one. Jesus, God’s only Son. In a minute we will talk about how through him we are able to access this Agape love and reach out to others in it. Before we do, let’s look at the perspective Paul gives us about Agape love.
1st Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Paul seems to present these contrast’s of Agape love up against religious structure and practices… even possibly self-righteousness, but they are exposed as empty because there is no love. All theses religious vehicles could be carrying the grace of God to others… but if love is not driving the vehicle they mean nothing.
1 …If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels,
Where do we use to get our confidence for daily life? Is it in our ability to speak well or give good counsel? (Some get a power fix from that) Is it in our ability to teach or pray spiritual sounding prayers?
Here Paul might have been alluding to the gift of speaking in tongues. Some elevate themselves with this gift. Once I had a man come to me and say I was likely not a Christian if I did not speak in tongues. That is a false statement.
2 …and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,
For some, our confidence may be from our education… Maybe a masters degree in business or a theological seminary. (Some are proud because of their schooling)
2 …I have all faith, so as to remove mountains,
Do you pride yourself that you are a go-getter… you have confidence in your abilities… you have faith in yourself to get the job done? You know one can even take pride in themselves for having faith in God. To me that seems like an oxymoron or contradictory in itself.
3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,
Do you take pride in being a giver. Do you think that gives you an edge with the people you know or makes God accept you more than he might others?
It could be a thousand different things. Here Paul seems to be using religious references for the Corinthians. But he is telling us how Agape Love is greater than anything we can do or any title we could ever have.
So I’ll ask it again: Where do you get your confidence?
It could be the station in life you were born in to. Some are proud they are elite or even middle class. You might take pride in the color of your skin. These are all racist self exalting prejudice!
This text says all things are rubbish if we don’t have love.
Any tool we have if not wielded with agape love serves no good purpose.
Of course not having money to be able to give away… not being a good speaker… not being born into a higher class may cause us to be depressed. We may feel like we cannot be useful in Gods kingdom.
Look… the ability to love others with agape love is better than being a rich, smart, or even a generous leader that can move mountains.
All those things… all money, knowledge and worldly abilities will turn back into dust.
The ability to love as Jesus did is superior to all those things we mentioned.
It is not dependent on talents, the ability to sing or play an instrument…
Agape love is the kind of love God had when he sent his only Son to be paid the wages of our sins and then rise on the third day. It was for his glory and our good that Jesus laid down his life for us.
We can’t truly show that kind of love to others unless we have accepted the love of God that comes through his Son Jesus.
1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
Continuing in 1 Corinthians 13 when Paul explains it.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends…
You can see how impossible it would be for someone who had not realized Gods love to love like this. Not to be irritable or resentful, not to envy or brag on self… not arrogant or rude… not insisting on it’s own way…
Though this kind of love is impossible for the world… Paul is telling us as Believers some very good news.
This is great! We don’t have to be talented, rich or important… none of that matters… If you’ve received the love of Jesus you can love and show forgiveness. You can serve in Christ's name. These things are important.
Maybe you're stuck in a Nursing Home. You don’t have to feel depressed and feel like you can’t make a difference because none of that matters. If you’ve received the love of Jesus you can love others.
You don’t have to continue to be blue because your mind doesn’t process things as fast as they used to or your hearing and eyesight are dimming… Maybe you can’t get up out of the chair or walk like before…. None of that matters. If you’ve received the love of Jesus you can love others and that’s what will last into eternity.
Loving others is better than being able to walk or hear or think fast. It is better than moving mountains or being the best orator in the world. Love never fails… Love will be victorious period. That's just how it is.
The time will come when we all will meet the Lord face to face and any talent we used… any words we spoke… any deed we did that was not motivated by godly Agape love will be burned up and the ashes will blow away into nothingness. If your life showed godly Agape love it will be an indication that we were motivated by the righteousness of Jesus working out through our life.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 3:16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all that you do be done in love.