Love is first and foremost a gift of self. ~Jean Anouilh
Love. There is no word in the English language that is more used or less understood. I love…
– my vehicle
– Mexican food
– snoozing late
– my family.
Usually a similar word in our English language… all have varying degrees of meaning and application. What is this all about? Could we really know if we are walking in worship as God commanded? We should explore the different degrees of worship.
Love 101 – Here we find a word used as a general expression for inanimate things – our hobbies, our environment, our possessions. There is no connection at this level. There is a sense of responsibility or value, but no relationship. It is described as a fixed interest or pleasure.
Love 201 – This level is governed by real abilities. It includes emotion, action, pleasure, energy and feeling. It can also be tinged with desire and need. It is known to the Greeks as Eros, and has little depth or responsibility. Eros is superficial and childish, seeking pleasure without obligation or equivalence.
Love 301 – Emotions develop through companionship, warmth and appreciation. Philos is something other than actual appreciation or enjoyment. It involves an emotional responsibility. We recognize that this level of connection requires giving and receiving; nevertheless, if it is not sustained by good feelings, it will be lost. The problem with this level is that it is actually controlled by our egoic human instinct.
Love 401 – agape love – God-like worship is otherworldly, faithful and selfless. It is the ultimate articulation of giving, where no response is expected. Agapé is love through trust. It is the way we are created and the way God needs us. Agape is based on choice, not inclination.
Agape is a doctorate that we should be aware of and pursue throughout our lives. The Bible uses the word ‘love’ (several times in the AMP, 442 times in the KJV) to indicate God’s compassion for us and how we should relate to other people.
Agape is important for blessing, it is part of our covenant with God. He said that we would be blessed to BE a blessing. We were created out of Love and we receive His affection so that we can give love. Here are a couple of examples.
1 Keep yourselves in affection for God and seek the kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ for an endless life. (Jude 1:21) Keep yourselves. We do this. When you are tempted to strike or cherish passionate injuries, remember God’s affection and kindness. We were created in His image, so we too should give with ease and kindness – no exceptions!
2. This too is love, that we walk according to his instructions. This is a command that as you have heard all along, you should walk according to it. (2 John 1:6) Remember the one who came to Jesus and asked him how to have eternal life? He said to Jesus, “I have kept every rule that seems eternal.” God has given us, his church, only one rule – love.
3 For this is our affection for God, that we keep his commandments and his rules are not offensive. (I John 5:3) Sadness, indignation, jealousy – every harmful emotion – is not welcome in empathy. The rules are given to us by Love, God the Father. They are for our safety, order and support, to keep us generally in the stream of blessing. Try not to let anything hinder God’s blessing.
4 For let him that would cherish life, and see great days, avoid the wickedness of his tongue, and his lips, lest they speak deceit: (1 Peter 3:10) A wicked tongue speaketh things contrary to the word of God. The wickedness of the tongue is deceitfulness, duplicity. It misleads with the aim of getting its own particular way. We all know individuals who do it, and if we are honest with ourselves, we will do it too.
First John is known as the love chapter. For more examples of how to walk in love, read and meditate on the works of John. Be constantly aware of the Agape and firmly reject (hijack, the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:5) all those reflections and feelings that are contrary to the Agape.
Have you ever noticed that when you buy a different kind of car, suddenly there are lots of them on the road – actually similar to yours? You got them noticed. Love is something very similar. When you focus on it, you start to see everything around you. It attracts you and pulls you towards it. Before long, you will be walking in worship, living in happiness, surrounded by harmony. Simply keep reading your Agape Doctor!