February 11, 2019
Prayer: My Lord we know and show the love You desires for us.
Scripture: “Now then, please take your gear, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me; 4 and prepare a savory dish for me such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die.” Genesis 27:3-4 NAS
Would you agree that we over-use the word “love?” I love Mac and Cheese, I love the puppy in the window, I love the color pink, I love the beach, I love my fluffy red blanket, I love Saturdays, I love spring break, I love flip flops, I love to read, I love coffee, I love my small group, I love sunset, I love raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… well you get the idea. “I love” turns into more of a list of my favorite things.
It was fun to find the love of food in the Bible, so it is not just a 21st century issue, this kind of love is the Hebrew transliterated word ‘ahab, pronounced aw-hab’ , and is defined as a human love, as in Issac’s love for Esau’s hunted game savory dishes in Genesis 27. It also includes a love for family members, drink, wisdom and sleep. Of the 320 times the word love is used in the New American Standard translation of the Bible, ‘ahab is used 217 of those times. It can also be used to describe God’s love for His people when spelled ‘ahabah.
Agapao is the Greek word used 110 times that means to be welcoming or fond of or contented with.
Phileo is commonly known as brotherly love, but by definition it is to be affectionate, to kiss, to welcome or to wont for, to be sanctioned, like, love or use to.
I have started trying to use other words in place of “love” when it really does not apply to the degree of my affection, but more importantly I am working on loving the way God’s Word instructs us to love.
Agape is unconditional; it is the love of 1 Corinthians chapter 13. God calls us to a love that sacrifices; that gives with no expectation of receiving. It thinks of the other person above self, protects, provides and perseveres in trials. When we really love someone, we want what God wants for them and not what we want for or from them. God calls us to love in a way that is respectful and does not say or do things that disrespect God or the other person. It does not manipulate, lie or act unfaithfully. It is the kind of love that is approachable, acceptable and accountable.
Worldly love is selfish. It begins by someone being attracted by someone’s outer appearances. It is drawn by some sort of pleasure or gain. It wants its own way and will pout, fight, or leave if it does not get it. It will fake allegiance, take you for all you’ve got, and then rake you over the coals as the one to blame for the problems of the relationship. Worldly love wants to control another person, treating them as a possession or a puppet. It will embarrass you for a good laugh, ignore you for attention, and wound you to feel better about themselves. Unfortunately we have all probably encountered at least one or two of these types of relationships and I pray you are not a part of one now. I also pray that you have turned to God to heal those wounds and that you are not carrying the baggage around, as it not only hurts you but interferes with other relationships. I hesitate at the risk of being cliché to use 1 Corinthians 13 this week, but I believe it best describes the love we should give as well as the love we look to receive.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.
Copyright Kathy Branzell. Email firstname.lastname@example.org