Tuesday, 25 April 2017 16:49

Romans 12: 9-21 " Agape- The Divine Love"

                               

Vs. 9-21 - Here is what you get NOW, (since 1st world people have such a fast food mentality).  You get LOVE! When you surrender your life to Jesus, you throw your arms open wide to His love, and it takes your life by storm – the love of God – Divine love – Agape!   You get it from Him, and you transfer it outward to others.

It is not something you have to force. It is something where you have to relax your grip and let happen.  It is a miracle of the Holy Spirit when He moves in and makes you His home!  Then, under His oversight, you abandon suspicion of people, self-protectiveness, your jaundiced view of humanity, your skepticism, your self-righteousness, your feelings of superiority or inferiority, your memories of human betrayal and disappointment, hurts and slights.  You begin to look at people through the eyes of God – all people – without exception!  You can’t “not love” anyone!   You can dislike them, but you can’t not care nor not show them love and respect!

(And this, my friends, is not optional! This is mandatory and it is the Christ-follower’s normal experience of the life of Christ flowing through me outwardly!) 

He has loved us without conditions. So we love people without conditions. We love them simply because they are people and because God loves people.  

  • Good people and even bad people, [Matt. 5:45]

  • People who are like us and people that are not like us [Lk. 10:25-37 – the good Samaritan; Matt. 5:43-48].

  • Appearance or performance has nothing to do with it. Neither does status, wealth, talent, intelligence, race, or any other outward trait.

Agapao (verb) and agape (noun) - It means genuine affection toward people, good-will toward them, esteeming them and being concerned for their welfare.  It is more of a proactive and deliberate sort of love, a love that motivates one to do something that is loving or caring, more than just a purely emotional or impulsive love feelings.  It is certainly not without emotion, but it is characterized primarily by loving and substantive actions.  Most of the New Testament’s use of the word “love” is translated from the words agapao or agape in the original old Greek text.  

Agape does no harm. It does not harm by commission - by something we do to cause harm.  Neither does it harm by omission – something we don’t do that would have helped to avert harm.  It is never doing wrong or neglecting right. 

  • Vs. 9 - “Love must be sincere” - Love is real, not manufactured. It genuinely looks for things to like in people, and wants to help them in their need.

  • “Hate what is evil, cling to what is good” - Love protects.   Evil hurts people. We hate things that hurt people. We help the wayward course correct. We help them understand what the right thing is, what is true!

Vs. 10 - “Be devoted to each other in brotherly love”

Devoted - Strong affection, loyal, dedicated to the relationship.  You are their support system, their relational infra-structure.  Hopefully it is reciprocal, but if it isn’t, they still have our love and devotion!  We don’t love to be loved back but to transfer/channel the love of God!  But if the natural response to devoted brotherly love is there, this can form extremely warm and strong bonds of mutual friendship.  Friendship creates good morale. There is no greater blessing than to be part of a close-knit team, accomplishing the work of God together!

Brotherly love/Family ties – This is my brother sister in Christ! It is a bond stronger than blood ties!  Jesus – “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?  Pointing to His disciples, He said,  “Here are my mother and my brothers’” [Matt. 12:48-50]

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Bethany Evangelical Free Church
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Clintonville, WI 54929

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