by Jim Hutson
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"Do not continue to owe no one, nothing, except to love one another. For the one loving the other has fulfilled the Law. For, "do not commit adultery," "do not murder," "do not steal," "do not bear false witness," "do not lust," Ex. 20:13-15, 17
and if there is any other commandment, in this word it is summed up, in the verse, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Lev. 19:18.
"Love does not work evil to the neighbor. Then love is the fulfillment of law." Romans 13:8-10 LITV.
I looked up love in the Vine Dictionary, agapao, verb., Christian love, whether exercised towards the brethren, or toward men in general, is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered.
But, I didn't understand why God was putting this upon my heart.
Then I wrote my reply to the study on James I was doing. And it hit, hit pretty hard.
Agape love, the noun of the agapao verb, is a total emersion of love regardless of circumstance and status, of potiential return or desire or need or want. It exists for the purpose of all good, and all holiness. It is unseen in its purest form on this earth, much like that of pure gold, which shall be found on the streets of heaven.
I have heard the phrase over and over, "God is love." And it seemed to me to be a pretty wushy way to describe a being that is above all things, created all things, and is beyond our capability of righteousness. But it isn't, is it?
Love. When you love someone without condition (agape love), you can shield that person in that state that gives and gives, beyond the capability of scientific measure and medical knowledge. A person who expresses agape love to another, especially one that doesn't seem to deserve it.......attitudes can change, medical conditions can be resolved, and lives can be saved.
Unexplainable? Not really, when you hold it to the standard that "God is LOVE".
Did God expect me to accept His salvation plan, offered through the blood of Christ? Did He solely give Jesus to the world to demand compliance with the new convenant? No, but He did it anyway. For that one chance, that one person who might otherwise be doomed to Hell.
A person sent me a story that made this come into powerful focus for me today. A lady, who's husband had died years before, was standing on a chair, ready to extinguish the life God had created when she heard a doorbell. Waiting for it (rather, the person ringing the bell) to go away, she continued to prepare to jump off the chair...with a rope settled around her neck. But it didn't go away, but grew more insistent. She got down and went to answer the door.
Outside, a eleven year old boy stood in the pouring rain and handed her a tract, saying "Jesus loves you." And then turned and walked away. This lady was in the church the following Sunday and expressed this display of agape love saving her life.
That person walking the hallways of the office that has the scowl on their face, that boss who seems to enjoy making my life a burden at work, the lady driving the car beside me at the light with stress lines etched in her face.
A multitude of lives that we each touch each day.......in need without knowing or deserving it by our 'old human standards' that could be saved if we expressed agape love, that reaching out in compassion and concern without expectation of a recipicating expression.
And our Father loved us like that, without expectation and without demand.....and gave His only begotten Son...a part of Himself....for payment of the death that we are destined to (like that lady on the chair with the rope) due to our nature.
That response, in love, to that person that you'd rather follow your old instincts and strangle.....that person who seems to be in so much of a hurry that they cut you off in traffic....all of those little opportunities that we have each day to say a kind, loving word or to do a gesture of love regardless of need or want.
That's what Paul tells me in this verse. Be owing, for the rest of your life, love to others. You owe it to your Father, and that person you pass on the street deserves it BECAUSE of the Father.
Show me the LOVE!!!!
Can we do anything less than to respond with the same to others?
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What the world needs now is love sweet love. As the Father pours His love into us we should pour it out unto others. What a different place this world would be, if only we would truly love our brethren.