- Bible Trivia
- Love Lifted Me
- Behold What Manner Of Love
- Get The New Look From The Bible
- Jesus Loves Even Me
- There is a legend of a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men.This priest, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When his actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.There is another legend of a bishop of Terni who was beheaded by Claudius II outside Rome in the third century.Still another legend tells of a man helped Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. Once discovered and imprisoned himself, he fell in love with a young girl—his jailor’s daughter, of all people—who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is believed that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine.”What do these legends have to do with anything? All three of these men are candidates for the “original” Valentinus for whom Valentine’s day is named.Regardless of which of these men—if any of them—was the original Valentine, today is a day when the western world thins about and celebrates love.To be honest, some of those celebrations get strange quickly and seem to have little to do with real love. Sometimes it is just quirky human nature to turn everything into a caricature. But sometimes it is because we don’t really understand what love is.Fortunately for us, God is love and shared a thing or two about love in His word to us.Love Is Doing4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.In an attempt to describe love, the Apostle Paul describes it by what it does, or does not, do. It sounds strange to talk about love in terms of doing, but ...There is a relationship between love doing and love beingSome driving forces can only be seen by what they produceFaith without works18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.Love without actionsLove without actions is incomplete because you cannot see love, you can only see the actions it producesLove being compels love doing and love doing completes love beingJesus recognized the relationship between love being and love doing13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.Love BeingWhat is love? That is tough to answer, we all know what it is until we try to define it. But without defining it, can we really understand it? No.The ancient Greeks had three words for love
ἐράω (eraō)This is the word that gives us the English word erotic, so you can pretty much guess what this word means…let’s call it physical love. This word is not used in the New Testament.
φιλέω (phileō)This word represents a tender affection and was generally used to refer to relationships. It was frequently combined with other words to show that relationship.philadelphia - the love of brothersphilanthropia - the love of mankindphilarguria - the love of money
ἀγαπάω (agapaō)Though existing in ancient Greece, this word was seldom used and only vaguely defined. Lacking meaning, it was appropriated by those translating the Hebrew Bible into Greek to describe the covenantal love that God has for His people.How does that help us?We can combine Jesus’ statement in John 15 and the meanings of phileo and agape to arrive at a useful definition with two variations.As a reminder, Jesus said:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.This statement reflects an understanding that love is a decision to value someone above yourself. There is our definition:Love is a decision to value someone or somethingThere are two ways this decision is usually manifest:Conditional LoveRelates to phileo, and is generally seen in the context of relationshipsFlows from a largely unconscious decisionOur subconscious mind is capable of making decisionsBecause this kind of love is unconscious, we usually think it is only emotionalEmotions are responders, not decidersTends to be subject to change when the cost to us begins to increaseConditional love is the largely unconscious decision to value someone or somethingUnconditional LoveRelates to agape, and is generally seen in the context of our commitments (there is some overlap between our relationships and our commitments, but not all relationships are commitments)Flows from a largely conscious decisionTends to be unchanging, even when the cost to us begins to increaseReflects God’s unchanging, all-consuming, love for usUnconditional love is the largely conscious decision to value someone or something
Mark Guy Pearse used to tell of the time he overheard one of his children admonishing the other, “You must be good or Father won’t love you.”
Calling the boy to him he said, “Son, that isn’t really true.”
“But you won’t love us if we are bad, will you?” the boy asked.
“Yes, I will love you whether you are good or bad,” Pearse explained. “But there will be a difference in my love. When you are good I will love you with a love that makes me glad; and when you are not good I will love you with a love that hurts me.”Jesus calls us to love one another34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”Guess which word He used when He called us to love…agapeNow we know that this love is the unconditional love that flows from a conscious decision to value someone. We also know that this love reflects God’s love. And isn’t reflecting God what we are supposed to be about?
1 Corinthians 13:4–7NKJV
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