Tag Archives: Agape Love

13 Feb

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!

2014 (2-3-2014) VALENTINE - LOVE

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, Love is in the air!

I wanted to know the real” definition of Love, so I looked it up in the good ol’ Webster’s dictionary. And to my surprise, there were over 10 definitions of the word love, but the best one, out of all of them, was: “Holding your opponent at a score of zero in the game of tennis.” Well, that’s not right!

The one that truly stuck out to me the most was: “strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties, like a father loves his children”.  Then, the Holy Spirit brought this scripture to mind: “And, I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”(2 Corinthians 6:18)

Speaking of scripture…Did you know that Love is mentioned in the bible nearly 700 times? And why do you think that is ~ Because it’s important!

The Greek defines Love in two ways:

  Phileo: A brotherly type of love.  Not just saying “I love you brother”, but, loving others with a “Christ-like” love. 1John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.”

  Agape:  This love is represented by God’s love for us. It is a non-partial, sacrificial love probably best exemplified by God’s provision for our rebellion: “For God so loved (agape) the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) The gift of God’s son as a provision for sin, was given to all humans, regardless of who we are.  God’s love is unconditional.

“I will love you unconditionally!”  

Following in my parents footsteps… I would like to share with you a little story about unconditional love:

Jt liked at all. Johnny loved Valentines Day and every year he looked forward to it. He would start early and make his list.  He would look for special valentines for each schoolmate on his list. But, it seems that all of these efforts were useless because he never received a valentine from anyone. Another valentines day rolled around and he had his special cards ready to go.

2013 (1-17-2013) Valentine Hearts...large bannerOff he went to school protecting his cards so they would be spotless upon his arrival.  As he boarded the bus and was out of his mother’s sight, tears filled her eyes and soon they were cascading down her cheeks. Oh, how she dreaded his coming home after school, knowing he probably would not get a single valentine. She prayed for him all day long and soon the bus rounded the curve and came to a stop in front of their house. Johnny came out of the bus and she heard him say, as he came up the path, “not a one”. Her heart broke. Then again she heard him say, “not a single one.” She didn’t know what she was going to say to him.  As he approached her his expression changed to a great big smile and he shouted these words… “not a one, I didn’t forget a valentine for a single one.

Love is not about what we receive, but what we choose to give.

The boy in that story gave regardless of what others give. This is the exact kind of love that God shows each and every one of us.

2012 (2-14-2012) Valentine for blogHe loves us unconditionally. To say God’s love is illogical is an understatement! Let me explain… Apostle Paul says God’s love “is so great that you will never see the end of it, or fully know or understand it.” Let me ask you a question, and answer honestly… Is there any good reason why—based upon your talents, family background, good works and deeds, personal magnetism, status or anything else—is there any good reason why God should love you? Tell me how it makes sense, based upon who you really are, why God should love you?  Yah, I can’t think of any reasons either.

Remember, our love isn’t like God’s love at all. We are only human!   The people that we choose to love are people who will love us back! The way we love is not the way He loves. Did you love Him before He loved you? Did you pursue Him before He pursued you? Did you seek Him before He sought you? I think not! ~It simply does not make sense! That’s the point! An example of this is God’s love to Israel. It didn’t make sense either. The big question is, “Why would God commit himself to a group of people He knew would not be faithful to Him?” Would you go into a relationship knowing the other person won’t be faithful to you, will betray your love, and leave you for others? Would you choose someone you know won’t be thankful for what you do and will not give the love and support you show? According to our way of thinking, God’s love is irrational. It doesn’t make sense. And to be honest, I am kind of glad it doesn’t make sense, because if He loved the way us humans love, we would be abandoned after the first time we sinned. And I don’t know about you, but I fall short quite often. In fact, the bible says that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. There is not one of us in this room that is sinless. And that’s what is so great about God’s unconditional love, he loves us in the good times and the bad.

God’s love is unconditional. It doesn’t have disclaimers hidden in the fine print!  It doesn’t have rules and regulations. God doesn’t say: “Thou must go to church for at least 2 years and read ye Bible 50 times then I will love you” His love is not a love we earn, it is a love we already have.

You have always been the focus of God’s unconditional love. The focus has been you, because sin separates us from God.

Romans 8: 35-39 says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written, for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God’s unconditional love forgives, heals, mends, restores, and brings us back into full relationship with Him. A major purpose of God’s love for us is to show that we are never alone; we are never unloved. Now that we are approaching Valentine’s Day, when many of us realize we don’t have a Valentine or perhaps we celebrate “Single Awareness Day” ~We must remember that we have a Valentine every February 14th and every day after that, for the rest of our lives.  And that valentine is our Heavenly Father! He loves us more than any Valentine in the world!

Now I want to give you the opportunity to tell God how much you love him and how you want to be His Valentine. We are going to pass out a piece of paper, so you can write a love letter to God. I encourage you to thank Him for his unconditional love and tell him why you love Him right back!

2014 (2-13-2014) Hannah Fisher**Hannah is the lovely daughter of Pastor Chris and Minister Vicki Fisher from Willoughby, Ohio. Hannah attends Malone University and recently wrote this insightful Bible Study teaching for her school dorm and presented it in her home church, Community of the Holy Spirit, last Sunday. I am so impressed (in the best kind of way) with the depth of Hannah’s Spiritual and Heart insight about “LOVE.”  Hannah so beautifully stated~ “Unconditional Love from our Heavenly Father is THE BEST VALENTINE any of us could ever receive!” Thank You Hannah for sharing this wonderful heartfelt teaching with all of us on “Sheila’s Heart.”

I love you Great Big! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Sheila's Heart | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment