Welcome to Mobilize!
For this first post, I wanted to make sure we start off right and in order to do that, I believe there is one essential truth which we need to allow to sink deep within our hearts and it’s this:
God loves you and me.
Each of us needs to develop the unshakable conviction that God loves us, and this is not only needed just to get the most out of and give our best to the church, but it is needed in order for us to live life right. It is a foundational perspective we need to have to live the lives God desires for us. Yet, developing this conviction can be hard for many of us and one key reason is because of the way the word love is used today.
The word love is not just used to describe the passionate feelings that a husband has for his wife, for example. It’s not just used to describe the deep devotion that parents have for their children. Instead, today we use the word love to describe how we feel about our favorite TV shows, the foods we like eat, the places we like to travel to, and the list goes on. As Max Lucado, a famous Christian author writes,
“We’ve all but worn out the word. This morning, I used the word love to describe my feelings toward my wife and toward peanut butter.” – Max Lucado
Basically, without intending to do so, we demean the word and cause it not to have the same impact that it should and this can limit how we understand God’s love for us.
In Jesus day this wasn’t the case because there were many words used to describe different forms of love:
- Eros – used when describing a physical attraction that someone had for another
- Storge – used for the love among family members
- Phileo – used to describe the positive affinity and affection that existed between friends and it’s where we get the concept of brotherly love and the word “Philadelphia”
And yet, with all of these words, there was still one more and it’s the word God chose to describe His love for us. That word is “agape” but what exactly is agape love?
Agape was used to describe a love that sought the highest good of another person and to do so without the person having to earn it. It is a selfless love that seeks the best interests of others even when they don’t deserve it. And when it comes to God’s love for us, agape describes His unwavering, selfless, sacrificial and unconditional love for us. Basically, God loves us with a love that we cannot fully comprehend, and yet, we must seek to understand it more as best we can. As A.W. Tozer, a Christian theologian, once said:
“I can no more do justice to this awesome and wonder-filled topic than a child can grasp a star. Still, by reaching toward the star the child may call attention to it and even indicate the direction one must look to see it. And so, I stretch my heart toward the high, shining love of God so that we may be encouraged to look up and have hope.” – A.W. Tozer
So we see that God’s love is the highest form of love. Therefore, it’s vital that we dig deeper in understanding agape love.
To continue reading, head over to Let’s Get Started: Part 2
Paul McCart is a Pastor with over 20 years of experience in lead pastor, church planting, and youth ministry experience. Paul has been married to his wife for 25 years and has three sons. He loves to have fun and laugh with friends!