Wherever a soul is united with Christ, there is love. Whatever else the character may posses, it is valueless without love, not love that is soft, weak, sentimental, but such love as dwells in the heart of Christ. Without love, everything else profiteth nothing; for it cannot possibly represent Christ, who is love (EGW, Signs of the Times, Dec. 28, 1891, par. 18).
Love is one of most misused words in the English language today. I love my parents, I love my pets. I love my school, I love my car. I can love friends, food, and fun activities. I love movies. I love working. I love helping others. I love being on an adventure.
Do these really all mean the same thing? How could they? I cannot love a movie they way I love my best friend. I cannot hold the same feeling for my school as I do my siblings. The English language is inadequate to describe all the types of love that exist.
I’m sure that many have heard of the ancient Greek words used for love: éros, philía, storgē, and agápe. Erotic and intimate love, affectionate regard and friendship, the natural affection of a parent to a child, and brotherly, charitable love. There’s actually more than these-the ancient Greeks had words for stages of love in relationships and different words for attachment to things that could not return the affection, such as an occupation or an inanimate object.
How poor is the English language for the understand of this package of a word! This poverty I believe is shown in our society where much of the type of love that is exemplified, marketed, and encouraged is éros. So many today feel that to love as be loved is a passionate, sexy ordeal always filled with excitement and desire.
Yes, these things are important – but that is not the extent of love. Simply feeling éros will eventually leave a person drained. This is not the kind of love God is calling us to when He asks that we bear it as a fruit of the Spirit.
The love God calls us to is to have a personal, relational connection with Him. To remind us of yesterday’s lesson – it is to abide in Him.
Christ is our example and He asks us to love one another as He loves us. That is a high calling, only one that can be achieved by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us ask Him now to help us love as Christ loves us.
Suggestions for prayer:
Praise God for His unconditional love.
Pray that God will give you love in your heart for the lost.
Pray that God will give you love for your enemies and for those who are persecuting you.
Pray for God’s love to be perfected in His church.
Pray that your life and your church will demonstrate God’s love to all of those around you.
Pray that nothing will separate us from the love of Christ. Ask God to show you those things that are separating you from Him, and surrender those things to God.
Pray for loving relationships within Christian families. Pray in a special way for families that struggle or are on the verge of divorce.
Pray for loving relationships within God’s church.
Pray for personal and church-wide emphasis on daily Bible reading and study.
Pray for an increased sense of urgency and a realization by church leaders and members that we are living at the end of time and that Jesus is coming soon.
Praise God for His answers to your prayers.
May you be blessed!