by Barbara Latta
by Barbara Latta
The Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek, languages more precise than the English most of us are familiar with. Scripture uses a variety of words to indicate different relationships, whereas we throw around several uses of love, sometimes flippantly, and the word loses the impact we intend.
We love chocolate.
We love our spouse.
We love our dog.
We love our car.
We love a certain book or movie.
We love God.
We use this same word to indicate a variety of emotions and attachments. We don’t (or shouldn’t!) love chocolate with the same feelings we have for our spouse.
What is the real face of love?
There are other words in the Bible that were translated in English as love, but these two are the ones we are most familiar with.
Philadelphia – brotherly love.  Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love (philadelphia), in honor giving preference to one another (Romans 12:10 NKJV)
Agapao – to take pleasure in the thing, prize it above other things, be unwilling to abandon it or do without.  In this is (agapao) love, not that we loved God, but that He (agapao) loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
We can feel brotherly (philadelphia) love toward our family members and friends. But we can still fail when situations arise that are not pleasant. We may lose our temper, grow impatient, and express emotions that are not favorable.
But God doesn’t deal with us the way we deal with each other. He doesn’t just display love, He is (agapao) love. Love is His very being. He created the world because of love. He desired to share Himself with others made in His image.
God’s agapao never fails. We explode in fits of anger but He remains calm. We fail in our faith but His arms are strong. Our patience grows thin but the Lord never wavers.
The only way we can express agapao toward anyone is to be filled with the Holy Spirit and under His control. Because without Him our flesh takes over.
Receiving from the Lord is not supposed to be hard, but our minds get in the way. Every time we mess up we think we need to run from God until we clean ourselves up and become worthy to approach His throne again. But if we could clean ourselves up, we wouldn’t need a Savior. The best place to be after throwing a flesh fit is in the arms of the Father.
But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more (Romans 5:20b).
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12).
God’s unconditional love was shown to us while we were fallen (Romans 5:8). He showed the one and only kind of true love when He gave Jesus to us as a gift wrapped in a little baby’s body to grow into the Man who would have all the foul sin of the world placed upon him.
God’s promises don’t change and our feelings don’t change Him. God doesn’t lie and when He says He loves us, He means He loves us. His love is not dependent upon our works, but upon His character. This is important to remember when emotions say otherwise.
Because He loved us, we can love Him. And because He loved us, we can love others. Not with a feeling, but with an expression of Him, a becoming of who He made us to be.
This Scripture sums up the gospel message.
For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, not depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39).
God recorded His love letter to us with blood-stained ink. From Genesis to the gospels He looked forward in time. From Acts to Revelation, He reminded us of all that His Son did when His blood ran down a wooden cross and soaked into the cursed earth. One drop would have been enough, but He used it all to show us He goes over and beyond and does much more than we need. He paid the highest cost to give us the gift of agapao.
In our world, love may have many faces. But in God’s domain there is only one real face of love—the face of His Son.
If you have never reached out to receive love like no one else can give you, the “Knowing God” tab on this site will show you how.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the One who loves you most!
Join the conversation and share your thoughts.
W What is the real face of love? (click to tweet)
We throw around several uses of love, sometimes flippantly, and the word loses the impact we intend.
What is the real face of love? (click to tweet)
I love the reality that God restored His love letter to us with blood-stained ink! I will carry that P.O. yin my heart today.ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by to share. May God's love letter bless you every day. Blessings!Delete
Great words much needed in today’s society! Thank you Barbara! Karla❤️ReplyDelete
Thanks, Karla. The world does need to know God's love. Blessings!Delete
Thank you Barbara for the explanations of different kinds of love and sharing how much God loves us.ReplyDelete
Thank you for taking the time to share. May you be reminded of God's love each day. Blessings!Delete
How secure in God’s love we are! (Romans 8:38). Thank for for this reminder and this beautiful message. Happy Valentines Day, Barbara! CandyceReplyDelete
We do need to be reminded of how much God loves us as we are surrounded by negativity that wants to pull us away from Him. Thanks for sharing, Candyce. Blessings and Happy Valentine's Day to you to!Delete
Sometimes, it seems to take forever, but slowly and surely God is teaching me to love like Him. I'm not sure that I'll ever get there in this life. I "love" my wife's cooking too much to let go. Just ask my waistline. But learning to love her in the way God loves me. I believe that's moving me closer to the goal of becoming Christian. Another great post Ms. Barbara.ReplyDelete
Loving like God does seem to be harder while we are in this fallen body. Thankfully, He gives us grace and mercy with each step we grow closer to fulfilling His will. Thanks for sharing, J.D. Blessings!Delete
"If we could clean ourselves up, we wouldn't need a Savior." This sentence really jumped out at me. I'm so thankful Jesus loves us. I can't even stay out of trouble, and certainly can't clean myself up. Without Jesus, I'd be doomed. Your message is so appropriate for this season of love, because no one loves us like our Savior. Happy Valentine's Day, Barbara!ReplyDelete
I can't stay out of trouble either, Katherine. I'm thankful He does love us with an everlasting love. Thanks for sharing. Happy valentine's day and blessings!Delete
I'm so thankful for God's unconditional love!ReplyDelete
Me too, Debbie. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings!Delete
Thank you, Barbara, for sharing such beautiful verses which reassure us of the Father's love. I especially appreciate this sentence: "In our world, love may have many faces. But in God’s domain there is only one real face of love—the face of His Son." I used to wish I could continue to live without sin, but when we do, His love draws us close and restores us.ReplyDelete
I agree with you. I wish I could live without sin but I am so grateful His love always ,restores us. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!Delete
Thank you Barbara. The Biblical definitions of true love are a great contrast to much of what society calls love. I appreciate you taking the time to redirect our thoughts to what the Bible describes as love.ReplyDelete
We do live in a society that defines love the wrong way. We can be so thankful our Lord shows us unconditional love. Thanks for sharing, Sylvia. Blessings!Delete
Thanks for this blog post remaining me to remain in God’s abundant love and giveReplyDelete
It away!! What a grateful heart I have knowing the love of God.
Yes, we we are so blessed to know His love. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Blessings!Delete
Thank you Barbara for your blog what a blessing. Thanks for reminding me that we can't clean ourselves up, that Jesus did the cleaning up and is continuing to love us even in our failures. I needed to be reminded that I need Him all day everday.ReplyDelete
Brandi, I need this reminder everyday too. We can get bogged down in our failures at times but remembering the love of our Father can set us back toward wholeness. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!Delete
I love the passage where Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him and the use of the different forms of love are used. It brings so much more depth to the Word.ReplyDelete
Yes Jennifer that example of Peter eirh Jesus does show us the love He wanted Peter to have. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!Delete
Thank you for the reminders. A belated Happy Valentines Day to you, Barbara.ReplyDelete
Thanks you for sharing and Happy belated Valentine's day. Blessings!Delete
You've touched my heart with this timely message!ReplyDelete