LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING!
Many novels and "love" songs have been written, describing feelings of love ranging from romantic to familial, from the joys of finding one's soulmate to the pain of being rejected in love.
In describing these feelings, the artist may strike a chord at the emotional level. But these descriptions are woefully inadequate and often reveal an ignorance of true love - "Agape" love which originates and flows from the heart of God!
(Agape is the Greek word for the Divine love of God!)
An author or songwriter may have experienced the joys of love or the pain of unrequited love on a human level but still have little or no experience of the deeper love which only comes from God.
The unbelieving world proposes many ideas of love such as romance, physical attraction, tolerance, pacifism or communal living. These ideas seem right but are not rooted in or birthed from a relationship with God. These types of love can be real but they must be revised according to God's perfect blueprint.
THE FLOW OF LOVE
Not only must they be in accordance with God's vision, but they must also flow into us from God and out to the world. All love that is initiated from the mind and heart of fallen men cannot help to be self-centered and self-empowered.
But true "Agape" love is initiated by God and can only flow out from man as it flows into him when he enters into and grows in a close relationship with the living God!
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 4:8
This verse does not merely say that "God is loving." It says that He is love! He embodies and emanates love from His very being. He is the source of all true love! How can we possibly think we can truly love without Him!
THE DIVINE ORDER OF LOVE!
Jesus gave us the two great commandments:
30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Notice that the FIRST commandment is to love God. The second must come after the first!
No wonder the world is so lacking in genuine love! If we each choose to love our own way, the result can only be a chaotic love, blown like a leaf in the winds of our current whims. If each one of us creates our own set of rules for love, then any opinion is valid. No wonder the government is not in unity and the country divided!
Many put the cart before the horse and claim that the way we treat people is what matters most to God. But if we put love of people before love of God, we will not be equipped to understand or to love the way God intended!
If, on the other hand, we love God FIRST and sit at His feet to humbly learn His ways, we will be equipped, experienced and trained to love!
Love is a fruit of the Spirit and cannot be obtained any other way!
Love comes from the work of the Spirit in the hearts of those who come to God and love Him. It cannot come from self-effort regardless of how religious or noble that effort may appear!
When one genuinely is growing in the fruits of the Holy Spirit, his or her love cannot help but grow!
It is simple: The more we grow in God, the more we will truly love!
Human efforts to love have failed miserably but Agape love, God's love, will never fail. It goes deeper, travels farther and accomplishes infinitely more good than the noblest human love!
Perhaps you and I should reevaluate the source of love in our lives. If our love flows from any other origin or source but God, it will fall far short and be utterly inadequate!