Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 KJV)
Agape love, or God’s love, is inspired by God and recorded in the Bible. It is God, and described as both love and charity. It is the very essence of who God is. The Bible tells us “God is love…” and that charity is longsuffering and can “Beareth all things…” these are some of the many supernatural attributes or qualities of the holiness of God. They are supernatural fruits bearing the perfection of the triune Spirit of God.
However, the same words, love and charity, take on a different aspect or meaning as commonly applied in this world. The world often has love turned upside down, backwards, or twisted away from God’s meaning as recorded by His inspiration in His Word. The word Charity is often used to describe an act or work towards another in need. Mankind can join worthwhile many causes and be employed as instruments purveying good deeds towards others in this world, however this often is propelled by human effort put forth towards another person. Yes, there are many good charitable organizations in this world who do many good things for those who are in need. However, true love is not worked up or brought about by man’s attempts at doing good things or their ability to generously giving financially towards a cause, or orchestrating good will for a seemingly worthwhile need.
Yes, good deeds can be, and often are used of God, like an arm of man extruding from the love of God alive and working in this world but God can use both the saved and unsaved in heart to bring about His will. However, God’s love must be alive in man’s heart before His love is the root behind or the supernatural force thereof extending good deeds towards another. If the genuine love of God is not behind a thought, feeing, deed, work, or cause at hand, rather it is being held up simply by man’s efforts at being good and doing good. This is a temporary situation because nothing derived through man has any lasting staying power. Man’s effort is always lacking the eternal permanency of the supernatural strength and power of God. That is why things, relationships, and effort put forth by man containing a “pseudo love” from the god of this world always falls apart, fades, or withers away as there is no supernatural strength and eternal power of God found in the “pseudo love” found in this world.
The Bible tells us:
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. (1 John 4:7 KJV)
Love is rooted, or stems from the very essence of God’s nature. God’s perfect love flows from Him into the heart of the regenerated man. Love is a supernatural condition of the heart. Love does not begin and end within the natural heart residing inside mankind. Quite frankly man, in his natural state, is a child of wrath, not love. Man has no love operating or flowing within him but God is the essence of love.
God says in John 8:44 about the natural man “Ye are of your father the devil…” The devil always operates naturally in opposition to the heart of God which is love.
God’s love is an unconditional love of which mankind will never deserve. It is a love from God which is unmerited by mankind but available to all mankind by God. When man thinks of true love it is the very character of God that should pop into the forefront of his mind, not good deeds or emotional displays of love from man towards another. True love is the essence or spiritual consuming personality of God. When mankind has the love of God flowing in his heart and encompassing his life then spiritual fruit of God will always bear out in his life as he follows the will of God in his life.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (Galatians 5:22 KJV)
God’s robust and bountiful fruit bowl filled to overflowing with spiritual fruit, including love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, and faith will be on display for God’s honor and glory in the life of those who have His supernatural Spirit alive and flourishing within their heart. These traits cannot be found in the world apart from a personal relationship with God.
God desires a personal relationship with mankind rather than rigidity and rules found in religious beliefs and rituals of gods of this world. A personal relationship with God is a relationship based upon a spiritual bond cemented with His abounding and everlasting love. On the other hand, the god of this world is a sly master of hate, division, and strife. He has a “pseudo love” to offer in an attempt to mimic God’s unconditional love. The god of this world has nothing analogous to offer mankind that even comes close to contending with the unending supernatural power of God’s love. God’s love is complete, pure and whole; lacking nothing necessary for man to exist in His godly spiritual fashion wrapped up in a close personal relationship with Him and emitting the fragrance of His love unto others.
We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19 KJV)
The Bible clearly tells us we love God because He loved us first. God loved man even when he was unlovable. There is nothing good or desirable which exists in the natural man who is physically born in a darkened and wicked state existing as spiritually dead. God realizes man’s potential, or what he can become, rather than stopping at what man is in his current state or condition from birth which is unlovely and spiritually dead cloaked in his sin and trespasses. We all have those who are near to us who are unlovely and quite frankly hard to love. We often may find it next to impossible to love them. That is how mankind would appear to God without His unconditional love which does not rely upon any beauty or goodness of man.
God asks man to love those who are enemies or have hurt them saying:
And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. (Luke 6:29-32 KJV)
God’s love stands out strikingly different in nature from any other love. The Bible is filled with scripture verses speaking about God’s love. God’s love is so comprehensive that mankind will not ever comprehend it in its totality this side of heaven or find descriptive words to paint a verbal picture which comes close to a resemblance of the beauty of God’s love nor closely defines its unlimited supernatural power.
God’s Word contains a lot of verses which expound on the nature of His love but none can come close to painting the masterpiece that God’s love naturally depicts in the lives of mankind. Man will not ever be able to drink in the totality of His loveuntil the day man crosses over into the eternal realm in absolute perfect fellowship with God cloaked in the white robe containing of His seamless eternal love.
There are different flavors or varieties of love comprising the whole essence of His love which are revealed in the Bible. The greatest single expression of His love recorded in the Bible is God’s unconditional love in the willingness to offer His only Son for the shed blood sacrifice for the sin nature of mankind. God desired to send His only Son to the earth to die for the darkened heart condition of man. This gigantic spiritual transaction equates to God trading His Son’s physical life, bringing about His cruel physical death, providing an opportunity for all mankind to possess eternal life. Jesus Christ’s death purchased our only opportunity for possessing eternal life. What an example of love God the Father has had for man that He would send His only Son to die so that man can live both now upon this earth and for all eternity.
This scripture verse beautifully expresses His divine unending love for us which is never bound, lessened, weakened, or restrained by any force:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)
No other love equates to the power and supernatural love of God.
The other types of love validated by inspiration of God and recorded in His Word include:
The word Eros itself does not ever appear in the Bible but this style of emotional love is recorded in the Bible as an erotic or sensual emotional love. This love feeds upon the desires of the flesh in unregenerate men, or as a biblically appropriate and occurring within the confines or walls of a covenant ordained by God in a godly marriage. This Eros love is described and applicably portrayed in the Old Testament book of Song of Solomon which can be understood to be both an allegory of God’s intense love for the Bride of Christ, which is His spiritual family upon this earth, and viewed as a godly picture or illustration of a physical manifestation or Eros love meant to be privately revealed in a marriage relationship, never on display but in a marriage bed shared exclusively between a male husband and his female wife. The Bible clearly defines a marriage as a godly love filled relationship between a male husband and his female wife honorable and pure before the eyes of God.
Relationships consisting of ungodly combinations or cohabitation which is based solely upon worldly standards of marriage are far removed from God’s righteous and holy standard and will be judged accordingly by the Truth of God.
God’s Word clearly states that:
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4 KJV)
Physical relations enjoyed outside the parameters of an exclusive marriage covenant with God defile mankind and certainly are never honorable to the holiness of God. Eros love is intended to be a love existing as biblical and godly operating inside the parameter of vows of marriage which are always to be between God, man, and woman in a God centered love triangle, with God occupying the lead or authority position at the tip of the triangle, followed by man, and then woman.
Eros love is a natural love given from God for enjoyment in marriage that has been taken socially hostage today by our dark and evil society. It is often served upon a platter complete with a bed of lettuce and all the toppings and congenially shared in a variety of relationships aligning with the loose standards which are becoming widely acceptable in this dark world. This socially acceptable love is clearly lying outside of God’s clear-cut commandment for a one man and one woman marriage covenant. God explicitly calls worldly based intimate relationships formed outside of marriage acts of fornication. This socially acceptable Eros love in diverse relationships founded in this world will never be found holy, honorable, or tolerated by the holiness of God. Eros love has long been twisted and turned about to exclusively feed the dark spiritual nature of man rather than having anything to do with giving honor and glory to God.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (1 John 4:8 KJV)
The only source of true love comes from having a personal relationship with God. True love blooms and blossoms within mankind after accepting God’s free gift of eternal life purchased by Jesus Christ through faith the unconditional love of God. Agape love is true love or a God provided “spinal column” lending support or staunch backing for all other kinds of love which stem from God for man to build His life upon. Without first having agape love no other form of love is possible.
Mankind is born in this world spiritually bankrupt without any eternal lasting or formidable natural love to offer. Man exists in a natural spiritual darkened state from birth. Mankind clearly misses the mark of godly perfection, having nothing good inside of himself to brag about while existing in his natural spiritually dead state. Man is naturally born in sin and naturally spiritually unrighteous.
The Bible tells us clearly the unregenerate man is by nature a child of wrath being filled with unrighteousness and anger which derives from the god of this world. True love, on the other hand, can only reside in the spiritually quickened heart controlled by the endless and boundless illuminated spiritual nature of God, while wrath occupies or resides in the heart of man who is operating under the control of the dark nature of the god of this world.
Hate and love are always at the opposite of the spiritual spectrum and are opposing forces which cannot coexist together. The nature which man feeds, whether it be His natural fleshly nature or the new spiritual nature from God, is the nature which drives or controls the strings of his heart, occupies his mind, and determines the course he walks upon in this world; whether it be a pathway walking in abounding love or raging hate.
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Ephesians 2:1-5 KJV)
Man who has been quickened alive with a new spiritual nature from God residing in Him has the very nature of the love of God residing within his own heart and mind and directing his steps. God’s nature is fueled by the spiritual backbone of His pure unconditional love which serves both to lift man up and knock him down in humbleness according to the Truth of His Word. God’s love joins man together to God to serve in His Spirit and divides man apart from being enclosed in the dark spirit of disunity and discord of the god of this world. God’s love expertly slices and dices the new spiritual man, whittling away at any lingering ungodliness allowing the righteousness of God to dwell richly in his heart and mind as the newly alive man enjoys spiritual fellowship with God as he sojourns upon this earth having a godly mannerisms and filled with a heaping measure of unconditional love for others.
The Bible reminds us that all mankind once had an old and rotting nature on board in their heart as they served the god of this world fueled by hate rather than naturally emitting the wonderful spiritual fragrance God’s inclusive supernatural love:
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. (Titus 3:3 KJV)
Keeping remembrance of our past existence in the back of our mind for recall purposes helps us to remember and keep in check how utterly despicable we once lived according to the spirit of the god of this world desiring to hold hands with the hateful spirit of satan, rather than living apart and sanctified unto the perfect love and peace naturally emanating from God choosing, therefore through faith, to serve God with our whole heart. This reflection upon our former lifestyle helps us in giving our salvation testimony to others aptly demonstrating God’s great mercy, love, and grace freely offered to us even when we did not deserve His love. This keeps our spiritual pride in check when placed against the high mark of the holiness and righteousness of God. Man will never be able to measure up to the plumb line of love God has set before us as we sojourn on this earth.
God gives mankind with His unconditional love without requiring or demanding anything in return; however God desires all mankind will long to serve Him according to His will upon their life. God has given man full retribution, marking the ledger “paid in full” for all sin through His great mercy, grace, and love wrapped together as a free gift or spiritual opportunity for man to accept through faith His love through His precious blood shed upon the cross.
Lastly God give us Philic love which is a godly deep rooted love for our spiritual brethren, our beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. Often our church family relationships consist of closer connections than are often present with our own blood relatives and family members. This is because the love in God’s spiritual family for our brothers and sisters in Christ is based upon our own personal relationship with Christ first and foremost and secondly with each other as we reside together in fellowship with Christ. Man cannot fellowship in the same spiritual wavelength or manner with his own blood relatives if they do not have the unconditional love of God flowing through their spirit but are in fact oppositely associated or aligned together unregenerate and spiritually dead in fellowship with the god of this world.
God’s love, in any form, cannot be earned by man in any way, shape, or form. God’s love is always freely given to whosoever shall place their faith in Him accepting His free gift of unconditional love. If mankind was given exactly what he earned God would give him a swift kick into the fires of Hell rather than offer him unmerited grace, mercy, and unconditional love from God.
God’s love: who can fully understand or pretend to know all about it this side of heaven. No man will ever wholly understand the great impact of His love until man reaches that pinnacle of perfection having flawless fellowship with God in the eternal realm. Eternity is where God’s love will be made perfect and complete as man is enveloped in the fullness of His love forevermore.
Man can only live on this earth in eager anticipation of being made perfectly whole in God’s unending love once man enters into the eternal realm residing in perfect harmony with God forevermore.
The next devotion in this series will feature the godly fruit of JOY!