Adored by His Essence
“God is love.” 1 John 4:8,16
We weren’t going to enjoy our first kiss until my man was ready to say, “I love you”. Think what you may, but for me this was a good plan. It gave significance to our first kiss and sweetness to when he said, “I love you”.
Nowadays I use the word “love” so much its like breezing through a box of Kleenex during a chick flick. Frequent. Not fully utilized. Eventually tossed in the garbage. “I love those shoes.” “I love my husband.” “I love your Tupperware.” “I love my children.” You get the drift.
So when we see this beautiful declaration in 1 John 4, “God is love”. We could casually think, “That is nice,” but then toss it to the side with every other thing we “love”.
However let’s explore a little Greek vocabulary. Let’s see what we can uncover to deepen our under- standing of these three life-changing words, “God is love.” To start, let’s play a little game of true or false.
Question #1 – Every time the word “love” is used in Scripture it means the same thing. True or False?
False. In the New Testament, there are several different Greek words used that we translate as “love” but they speak to different kinds of “love”.
Question #2 – The word “love” used in the sentence, “God is love”, refers to the heart-shaped-box- buying-Valentine’s-Day kind of love that can run dry or disappoint. True or False?
You might have guessed it, false. In my extremely limited Greek research, there are three predominate words for “love”. They are…
- “Agape” – The love of deep affection toward a spouse or children. Words or phrases like devoted, generous, to value, to esteem are descriptors of “agape” It can encompass a total commitment to and self-sacrificial love toward that which is loved.“
- “Eros” – The passionate love we see displayed on TV and in It is the romantic love of deep longing and attraction that often fizzles after a period of time.
- “Philia” – The love of friendship. It can describe loyalty to friends, family and
Though “philia” is used, “agape” is the predominant type of “love” referenced in the New Testament.
It is used to describe Christ’s love toward his twelve disciples and God’s love toward his son, Jesus. God is love. He doesn’t just have love or loves. God. Is. Love. The very nature of God is “agape” love. His very person, a deep abiding devotion. At his very essence, affection and generosity.
When his Spirit takes up residence in us, we abide in his “agape” love. We abide in it so we can experience its depth and extend it to others. Like Paul, I pray “you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully” (Eph. 3:18-19). Let’s give it a try, shall we?
Dad, you deserve to hear us call you that, “Dad.” What can we say knowing you had to turn your face away from your one and only son, Jesus, so we could be adopted into your family? Thank you for adoring us so. May our hearts shed tears of gratitude for all you are and all you have done for us. Love, Your Daughters
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