Have I Learned to Love?

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February for many folks, is a time to remember courtship and love. It is a time for cards, dinners out, and gifts that express our sincerity to the one we love. Rosemary and I were married in February; 35 years this month! February certainly means a lot in our home! Clearly we all recognize that love is worth remembering. God’s Word speaks of a love that is beyond the Valentine’s Day love we celebrate; not an emotion or a romantic love, but a love of that comes from the motivation of the heart. A love that is unconditional. The very love of God. In the New Testament Greek, AGAPE (noun) and AGAPAO (verb) is the God kind of love the Bible speaks of. God is AGAPE. It is an attitude, an unselfish devotion, not of an impulse or a feeling, but of the decision to love without condition. God AGAPAO the world and sent Jesus, His Son. It is the love that caused Jesus to lay down His life for us. This is the Christian love we are all called to. Father God put this nature of AGAPE in us when we became born-again; when we asked Jesus into our hearts to forgive our nature of sin and put a new nature in us. Our nature as believers is the nature of AGAPE. We were re-created in Christ to love – to AGAPE. So what really matters now, since we are called to bear fruit for Him in this world, we are called to bear the fruit of AGAPE. The works of AGAPE are not seen in my good intentions but in the fruit of my actions. The most important question we should ask of ourselves, as we examine our growth in Christ, is – “

Have I Learned to Love?” Have I learned to love others more than myself? Do I pray for others with the same devotion as I would pray for myself? Yes, even those who would persecute me! My human love can’t do this, but my new nature of AGAPE can! The Apostle Paul tells us bluntly in 1 Corinthians 13, without AGAPE (coming from me in practice) I am nothing. Have I learned to love? This seems to be the main pursuit of my life and the sum of all my pursuits now. I hope all of us in the month of February go beyond the affections of the heart, nice as they are, and go much deeper to pursue what matters, “Have I Learned to Love?”
 
Pastor Ralph Freda
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