Sr. Pastor A. A. Jackson

An Agape Devotional – Submitted March 19, 2017
By Sr. Pastor A. A. Jackson

Realm of Agape Christian Church, Inc.
 

What does true Agape Love look like? How can we apply it to our lives in the day to day grind of things? Christ is our perfect living example of this kind of love and in 1 Corinthians 13 He gives us a detailed picture of what it looks like lived out in our lives moment by moment.

First Our Lord tells us what love is not (verses 1-3).
It is not:
Acts of service with wrong motives or a selfish heart.
It is not brilliancy of speech or literacy.
It is not knowledge and intelligence.
It is not faith even to an extreme amount.
It is not even the giving of one’s physical life for another.

For any of the above to be of any use to God’s kingdom one must have a heart of Agape love. But how can Agape love flow from us when we are naturally selfish creatures? We cannot in human strength love others as we ought. It will always be a war between the flesh and the spirit. But God’s Spirit in us will enable us to love as we yield our hearts and lives to Him moment by moment. For God is love and to the measure that He is in us His love will flow out to those we come in contact with. Love is a divine calling and “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Phil. 4:13

What are Love’s characteristics and what does it look like lived out in our daily lives? Verse 4-7 gives us a list of the characteristics of Agape love.

1. Patience (i.e. longsuffering.): To be long tempered, patient in bearing offenses of others. To be mild and slow to avenge oneself.

2. Kindness: To show one’s-self useful or act benevolently. Kindness is treating someone as if they were your own kin or family. (Treating with respect and laying down ones life for them.)

3. Is not envious: Does not covet or entertain thoughts of jealousy toward another. Love rejoices when good comes to others, trusting that God has provided all it’s own needs for life and godliness already and will continue to do so and that even when it’s desires are not met God still knows best. It is content with what it has.

4. Does not vaunt itself: It does not boast or brag about itself. Is not given to self display. Rather it is given to ministering to others and rejoices when God is honored and others are blessed. It is not concerned with who gets the credit but serves only to please God.

5. Is not puffed up: Is not inflated or puffed up with pride and haughtiness (I’m better than you.). A spirit of humility will be evidenced in those filled with the Love of God and a servant’s heart will be displayed as it realizes it’s own unworthiness and inadequacy and depends on God’s grace to put others first and meet their needs. It is not respecter of persons but views those around it through God’s eyes as souls of eternal worth made in the image of God and worthy of notice, respect, and compassion.

6. Does not be behave in an unseemly manner: It does not behave shamefully or indecently. Is not given to immorality or any sort of immoral behavior. (Shamefaced, un-flirtatious, chaste.) Put’s the needs, hearts of others first above it’s own gratification and pleasure and makes it’s choices based on wisdom and the fear of God.

7. Seeks not it’s own good: It does not seek or desire it’s own best interests. Nor does it demand it’s rights or require others to meet it’s needs. Self love is not LOVE! We are called to lay down our lives for others if we desire to find them again, following the example of Christ who died that we might live and now intercedes for us at the Father’s throne. Fully surrendered to the Father, fully committed to serving those He came to save.

8. It is not easily provoked: Not irritable and short tempered. Nor easily stirred to anger.

9. Thinks no evil: Does not suspect evil or bad of another (to conclude or assume something and despise on the grounds of that conclusion.) Desires to think the best and does not allow a critical spirit to reign.

10. Rejoices not in iniquity but rejoices in truth: Love is not glad about unrighteousness, but is discerning and judges the truth about a situation by God’s Spirit in accordance with His word. It goes beyond the surface to the heart, the reality lying at the basis of an appearance. It embraces reality with an honest heart not denying the truth but trusting God is in control no matter what, choosing to forgive despite injustice and evil and speaking the truth in love. (Justice, righteousness, discernment.)

11. Bears all things: To protect or preserve by covering. In the sense of covering one another’s faults, physically and spiritually watching out for others, covering in prayer, and bearing one anothers burdens.

12. Believes all things: Love is not suspicious and self protective. Rather it is committed to trusting others. To have faith in another. To commit to more than just mere credence moving beyond words into a heart reliance upon another. To build relationship and not walls. To be open and dependent and to receive with humility what others have to give.

13: Hopes all things: To expect or confide in another. Trust directed to or in another person. To hope FOR another. (Love hopes for the best for others and also hopes for their salvation and redemption. It does not give up on the soul of another.)

14. Endures all things: To stay under or behind. To bear trials with fortitude. To abide under or bear up courageously under suffering. We are called to be an example to those around us as we face the tests of life.

15. LOVE NEVER FAILS: That’s a powerful guarantee! Love NEVER LOSES it’s efficiency and power. It is ALWAYS VICTORIOUS. In this life, we need Faith, Hope, and Love, but LOVE (AGAPE) is THE GREATEST of these – for GOD IS LOVE!

It was this love that took our Savior to the cross for you and I. It is this love that now intercedes for us, it is this love that waits long and patiently for the precious harvest of souls to be brought. Nothing can separate us from this love. He was lifted up that He might draw all men unto Himself and He has called us to follow in His footsteps, to be JESUS WITH SKIN ON to others. We are His hands and feet on earth. As we abide in Him, we are called to be ambassadors and representatives of the King of kings, to love one another as He has loved us. What a high calling! Will we be faithful?