I was thinking about how great God’s love is, and I decided to share a study about the theme. I hope it ministers to your life as much as it did to mine.
What is love for you?
What do you expect when you love someone?...... Then ask yourself: What happens if your expectations are not met? What if the person you love does not feel the same way?
Then think for a moment...
When we love, our love is always conditioned. It is a love with demands, with the desire to receive what we want, whenever we want to. It is not unconditional love. Unconditional means that we love even when we do not receive what we want, no matter what, and even if the other person rejects and denies us.
Have you experienced this kind of love? Have you been loved like this, even when you did not deserve it? If you said no, I’m sorry, but you have not experienced or known God's love yet because His love is the best example of what unconditional love is.
The Bible gives us examples of four kinds of love. These four kinds of love are: Agape, eros, phileo, and Familial Love. I’m going to give you the definition of each one of them, but I want us to concentrate on Agape love.
Why? Some of the things that God requires of us are not fun or easy, but they need to be done, and the only way we will fulfill these things and start sharing these kinds of love with others is if we experience and learn about His Agape Love.
Eros (Definition: Eros is the physical, sensual love between a husband and wife.), Phileo (Definition: Phileo means close friendship or brotherly love in Greek.) Familial Love (storge) is the love and affection that naturally occurs between parents and children, can exist between siblings, and exists between husbands and wives in a good marriage.
Paul gives us an excellent description of what the Love of God is:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now, we see in a mirror dimly but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1Corinthians 13: 4- 13.
Let's study this carefully:
Love is very patient and kind, never jealous, boastful, or proud. Love does not demand its way. It does not hold grudges and will barely notice when others do it wrong.
It is never glad about unfairness, and rejoices whenever the truth prevails. If you love someone, you will be loyal to that person, no matter what. You will expect the best from them and always stand your ground in their defense.
Thank God He is not us; He loves us unconditionally. His Agape love is beyond any. What does Agape mean? Agape love is selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional. It is the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. Agape perfectly describes the kind of love Jesus Christ has for God and us, his followers. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. (John 14:21, NIV)
He loves us even when we were sinners, giving up His only child: John 3:16, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
He showed us, His love, even when He was on the cross when He said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing." If God loved those who crucified Him, can you imagine how much He loves us?
God demonstrated His love for us before we were Christians, before we wetre even born.“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5. He loved us when we were sinners by giving us an opportunity for redemption. In the Prodigal Son parable, Jesus shows us that God continues to love his child who was strayed and far from Him. As our Father, He eagerly waits for us to return to the Christian family and fellowship. Even when with all our flaws and insecurities, He continues to love us.
Paul writes: Since by His blood he did all this for us as sinners, how much more will he do for us now that he has declared us not guilty? Now he will save us from God’s entire wrath to come. And since we were his enemies, we were brought back to God by the death of His Son. What blessings he must have for us now that we are his friends, and he is living within us! God’s love for us is unconditional and so deep that is something we cannot make sense of. "So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19.
We need to trust God with our life because He loved us first. He loves us in so many ways, and the best of those ways is that He loves us as a Father. God loves us as His sons and daughters. Wow!! It is an amazing truth that we find difficult to understand! Sometimes people cannot understand God’s fatherly love because when they were little, they had negative experiences with their dads. Maybe your dad abandoned you, and he was not there for you. When you grow up without a father's love, you cannot understand God’s love because the reference about a dad you have in your mind is corrupted and damaged.
The most important experience I have had in life is the realization that God is my father, He loves me unconditionally, and because of His love, I can receive His herein. Realizing this changes your life; it gives you another point of view in life, heals you, and liberates you. It gives sense to your life.
If you struggle to understand God’s love because when you think of a father, you only feel deceit, hurt, abandonment, or you have never experienced God's love, stop for a minute, and ask God to let you feel His love. I guarantee you God's love will transform your life!