Monday, March 28, 2016

Agape love ~ How to live in these times?

Christianity developed 'Agape' as the love of God or Christ for humankind. In the New Testament, it refers to the covenant love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God; the term necessarily extends to the love of one's fellow man ~ Encyclopedia Britannica.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:
You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love (agapēseis) your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love (agapāte) your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?
— Matthew 5:43-46, RSV
This is not easy in our times, as we do not feel safe voicing in public spaces our love of Christ. Yet, this is the greatest sacrifice we will and do face as Christians. Jesus asked "Will you lay down your life for me?"  We as Christians, must answer "Yes Lord"!

There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends ~ John 15:13. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die ~ Romans 5:7. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us ~ Romans 5:8..

Many Christians think that "agape love" is to reject yourself and serve others, as in being a service to man. That would be giving up yourself for another man. Christ asked only that we give up ourselves to Him ~ that is Holy love which is 'agape love'which about loving and serving the Lord and only Him. We cannot and should run around looking for works so that we are loved and others are loved, that is not the "agape love" that is not what God wants for mankind. He wants us to love Him and His creation which you/me/we are. We are to love His creation 'humans' which is loving His work, not man's. That's all there is to it. Just love! We should not love technology, nor man mixing with machines, we should not love anything that God did not create. We can appreciate man's creativity, but we give thanks and praise to the Lord God for His Creation  - mankind.

Some think that 'agape love' is  rejecting the self to order to get busy working and serving others. No, its not. We are not called to be Martha's. We don't have to bake cakes, run soup kitchens, or do anything that man expects a good Christian to do. If we want to, of course, we can. But, we don't have to. We should remember that if we do what Christ's asks, which is to give up ourselves to Him then we give up the notions of busy work, trying to please in order to gain reward in the eyes of others and in the presence of God.

It does not mean that we don't care, or that we can just hoard, or be selfish in anyway. If we see a brother or sister in need, it would be obvious to help them or share a meal. The point is that we don't have to seek them out, God does. He calls and they/we respond. We are called, and in hearing His voice, we respond to His love and His love for His creation - mankind. 

We will not be know this kind of love by doing our own calling and running about like Martha did ~ Luke 10:41. Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me." But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary to be at rest in the Presence of the Lord), for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her "~ Luke 10:40-42.

When we hear and accept the Lord's call, He is Present in us. This gift is everyone's! That is 'agape love'! It is for everyone and by our display of embracing that love, we are living for Christ in these times! We are examples to everyone. We are telling others that we love God first, we love His creation which translated = 'agape love'. In this way, we love others. In responding to His call, His love for mankind, we become born again, we become truly Christianized in our love of God and for His creation!

...that is 'agape love'! It is for everyone and by our display of embracing that love, we are living for Christ in these times!

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