Jesus:

The Meaning of Love

The Author and Finisher of Our Faith

Notes:

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Scripture Reference:

Ephesians 5:23-33

Titus 2:1-5

 

Lesson 12.. ( LOVE .. The Many Facets Part 5

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(For your convenience I've included the meanings of the word love as I wrote at the start of this series so you can refer to the types of love we've covered in the other studies about love .. see below)

LOVE ... THE LORD

Mt 22:37 - Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Jesus taught us that we should love God. How?

1. with all your heart

2. with all your soul

3. with all your mind

1. Your HEART: (Strong's 2588) kardia {kar-dee'-ah} denotes the center of all physical and spiritual life ... the center and seat of spiritual life

This says a lot and 'center' is the key word here. God should be at the center of of our life and affection.

2. Your SOUL: (Strong's 5590) psuche {psoo-khay'} the breath of life - the vital force which animates the body and shows itself in breathing - that in which there is life - a living being, a living soul - the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions (our heart, soul etc.) the (human) soul in so far as it is constituted that by the right use of the aids offered it by God it can attain its highest end and secure eternal blessedness, the soul regarded as a moral being designed for everlasting life - the soul as an essence which differs from the body and is not dissolved by death (distinguished from other parts of the body)

This to me speaks of the 'inner man' or who you really are, to put it simply .. the life that God breathed into us to make us a living being.

3. Your MIND: (Strong's 1271) dianoia {dee-an'-oy-ah} - mind , understanding, imagination - the mind as a faculty of understanding, feeling, desiring - way of thinking and feeling - thoughts, either good or bad.

This one is self explanatory.

So, we know we are to love God with every part of our being. Let's explore some ways we can do that.

I believe that we can't approach the subject about loving God without first considering God's love for us. The first time the word LOVE is used in the Bible is in Genesis 22:2 ... And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

The meaning there translates to 'dearly beloved son.' I think it's significant that this first time love was mentioned was in connection with the sacrifice of Abraham's only son, whom he loved dearly. Parallels God's sacrifice of His own Dearly Beloved Son, doesn't it?

How could we NOT love God who gave His only begotten Son to take our sins away and take our place of punishment? So, knowing we do love Him, if we're one of His, we need to strive to show Him our love the way Jesus taught the disciples and they in turn taught us through the scriptures.

First of all, Jesus taught that if we love God we will love each other. That's a way to love God, and one that we covered in a past lesson in this series, so there's no need to repeat that. (refer to Lesson #9)

Jesus told his disciples that if you see Him, you see the Father. So let's look at some of the ways that love was shown to Jesus as 'tender affection' .. also as 'childlike affection' ... which by the way, Jesus was pleased and touched with as when he said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." (Mark 10:14) They wanted to sit on His lap, and show affection and attention as well as receive it. Jesus always responded to that kind of expressive love. Remember Mary's expression of love .. (John 12:3) ... Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. And we can't forget when Peter jumped out of the boat to rush to the shore to see Jesus after His resurrection in John Chap. 21. He was so anxious that he didn't wait til the boat could get to shore. That's affectionate enthusiasm! There are many instances of this kind of love being shown to Jesus, and the Father loves that too. We see the Father in Jesus! So we need to feel affection and express it to the Father. We must love God with abandon, freely giving our all, running to Him excitedly and not be afraid to be childlike.

How can we have intimacy with the Father where we can show that affection? By spending time with Him. We need to see Him as our loving Abba Father ... who dearly loves His children, and desires that we sit with Him and give attention to Him and receive it! I have a room where I go to be with the Lord. It's a beautiful little room. I've given it special attention in decorating it, making it pleasant and comfortable, with my Bible, prayer journal, and study tools at hand. It's also a combination music room and guest room, but to me the most important use of the room is my time with God. We don't have to have a special room, but it does help to have a quiet place where we can be alone and enter into fellowship with the Lord, away from distractions so we can focus on Him and our time with Him. Those times are precious .. just you/me with our Father, sitting at His feet, loving Him and basking in His love.

One of the things that have almost been forgotten in our development of character attributes in today's world is: GRATITUDE! Being truly thankful is a way to love God. When our hearts are full of gratitude for all He is and all He's done, there's not much room for self-pity or complaints. And He delights in our thankful heart. When we begin to recount all that God has done in our life, there's a holy gratitude that rises up in our spirits, and elevates us to the heavenlies. We're told to enter His courts with thanksgiving. This lets me know that giving thanks from our hearts is precious and acceptable to the Lord.

WORSHIP: You've heard the phrase, "He/she worships the ground they walk on ... etc." Well, God desires true worship from us .. from the spirit and the mind, and as Jesus said, the body. We offer ourselves a living sacrifice to Him, and then praise Him from our hearts, turning our minds toward Him, giving Him our attention, making decisions in His favor, keeping our hearts tender toward Him and His word, being obedient children. Worship is a way of life as well as an act of service in a gathering with other believers or in your quiet room with Him alone. We worship Him because He is Worthy of Worship. We bow down and adore Him, physically or mentally and spiritually. We exalt Him, lift Him up because He is Worthy!

(John 4:23) But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

We must get to know those we love ... know them better as time goes on. Stan and I know each other far better now than when we first married, of course. All the time spent with each other has made us as one. We even know for the most part what the other is thinking. Getting to know God should be a priority as a way to show our love for Him. If Stan and I had never talked to each other very much or spent time doing things together we wouldn't know each other very well now and frankly, our love would not have grown due to neglect. We could SAY we loved each other, but without the companionship and experience of togetherness, those words would be empty.

Well, how do we get to know God?

The first and most important way to know God better is to spend time in His WORD .. it's His letter to us, His message, His promises, His truth, His plans for us, His Love for us! I can't stress this enough. Fellowship with other believers, going to church, listening to good preaching and teaching, and good Inspirational Music, testimonies, etc. is good, very good! But it's not sufficient to know Him better! To grow in the knowledge of the Lord, we MUST spend time reading and studying what He wrote for us in His Holy Word. A professing Christian once told me that they loved to go to church, but getting into the Bible just wasn't 'their thing' ... I was amazed at such a statement! Never to grow and know God better and have our understanding of Him deepen ... what a shame that would be! Those little treasures of spiritual things that awaken new insights in our hearts and minds would be sorely missed in our journey with the Lord.

PRAYER: Another very important way to love God. He wants us to come to Him with our supplications, needs, intercessions for ourselves and others. Wouldn't you feel unloved to some degree if your children didn't come to you for what they needed in the way of care and love? They show that they love us by depending upon us for their very welfare as they're growing up. We show our love for God our Father by trusting Him and putting our faith in His love for us through prayer.

FAITH: Faith and trust is part of loving. Without it, we can't truly love in a pure sense. There's a poem in my prayer journal that reads:

If I really trust Him, need I ever fret?
If I really do expect Him, can I ever forget?
If by faith I really see Him, shall I doubt His aid?
If I really love Him, can I be afraid?
by John Oxenham

I think that says it all about faith. Before every prayer time I read that poem and it reminds me that I'm not just 'talking to the wall' .. that my Father has told me I can come to Him now .. right to His very throne! Through the blood of Jesus, He sees me as a beloved child!

OBEDIENCE: How we appreciate it when our children show us their love and respect by their obedience. God, our loving Father demands obedience from us, not to be a tyrant, but for our own good and protection. Jesus Himself gave the perfect example of obedient love for the Father and for us when He was willing to go to the cross for us. (Ro 5:19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Jesus said (and the teaching of the Apostles as well) that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. This is obedience which proves our love. - (II John 1:6) And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

To end this study, I won't print out all the many instances where the word is used, but always when the disciples were told to love the Lord the word agapao (25) was used.(see below) The same word was used when Jesus said to love the Lord with all our heart and soul and mind ... Meaning a choice of the mind, a decision to love, even before feeling enters in. Of course, God wants us to feel love for Him too, and we certainly will if we're born again and His children! But that love born from our decision to come to God grows and the feeling of tender affections comes to our hearts, souls, and minds as we walk with Him.

If you haven't been following along with all the previous studies, I encourage you to go to the archives and see all the studies about the word love from Lesson # 8 to this lesson. It will help you put it all together and I pray help you to understand more about LOVE in the Kingdom of GOD.

The following is a list of the many meanings of the word translated as LOVE in the Bible (New Testament)

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26 ... AGAPE .... love feast, benevolence, charity, sacrificial, loves regardless of response, delights in giving,, desires only the good of the one loved, not based on the merit of the person loved, loves even the unlovable, used to express God's love, act of will - not necessarily a feeling (closely akin to agapeo) this form of the word in its noun form speaks of God's love and how it has been manifested to us

Focus: Others - God - His Pleasure
Unconditional - and only possible with God - (God loving us - and - through us)
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25 ... AGAPEO ... to love in a social or moral sense - with reasoning, intentional, devotion of the mind, deliberate assent, decision, agreement of the will as a matter of principal duty and propriety - feelings do not necessarily have to enter in - fairness in treatment of others as an act of obedience to God. (closely related to Phileo, but Agapeo is more "of the head" while Phileo is more "of the heart") ... Regarding God's love for us when agapeo is used, it expresses the deep and constant love of the "Perfect Being" .. (GOD) for those entirely unworthy (US) and fosters a kind of love in us being the recipients of God's love, to help others find the GIVER of love, our GOD.

Focus: Others
Conditional (on our part) - relies on the ability to be obedient by the Holy Spirit residing within us, practicing righteousness
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STORGE' ... natural affection, feelings toward something or someone close to oneself, feels good about

Focus: Self
Conditional: collapses with a hardened heart
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EROS... erotic passion, emotional, gives in order to receive, body chemistry enters in, selfish, self gratification

Focus: Self
Conditional: - collapses when attractiveness is gone, bitterness, resentment sets in when it doesn't get its 'wants'
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All of the following forms of the word come from the root "philo" and are never used in a command to men to "love God"
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5368 ... PHILEO ... companionable, gives and receives friendship, affection for, to be fond of, tender feelings, personal attachment, a matter of sentiment or feeling - a higher and more noble form than eros feelings

Focus :" Our" Happiness
Conditional - Can collapse in crisis or when strained
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5360 ... PHILADELPHIA ... brotherly love, of the brethren

5362 ... PHILANDROS ... affectionate, fond of man, as in "Wives, love your husbands"

5363 ... PHILANTHROPIA ... kindness, love toward mankind, courteous

5365 ... PHILARGURIA ... avarice, greed, love of money, possessions, riches

5377 ... PHILOTHEOS ... fond of God, pious

5384 ... PHILOS ... dear, fond, friendly

5387 ... PHILOSTORGOS ... cherishing kindred, especially ones parents or children

5091 ... TIMAO ... to honor, prize, value, revere

2309 ... THELO ... to like, wish, prefer ... (I 'love' Classical Music!)... or ice cream ... yum! (smile)
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As always I want to thank you for having a love for God and His Word and wanting to study with us here at this online ministry. I thank you for your faithfulness, love and prayers for me and my family, and those who work with me in this ministry. You've become partners together with us by the bonds of love in the household of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. We love you and appreciate you, and are blessed by your visiting and praying for this ministry! In Christ, you are the reason we can go on!

And we pray that what we do is making a difference in lives and bringing honor to our Father in Heaven!

With that in mind, I'd like to invite you to view the page in the theme page section that speaks about online friendships, those precious, godly relationships that God has allowed us to cultivate in these end time days. That page is entitled: In Spirit and Truth ... To read that Special Message that reflects how I feel in my heart for you, my faithful friends in the Lord - CLICK HERE!

God Bless You and Keep You in His Love as We Exalt Him and Give Him Glory and Honor and Praise! In Jesus' Name I ask Him to Bless This Lesson to our Understanding and Benefit!

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I pray you're standing in faith and love as the United States is now engaged in war; and praying for the outcome to be one of victory over evil. Join with us in praying for our military personnel who are sacrificing so much for us. Remember them and their loved ones who are sacrificing as well. Remember that we're always engaged in a battle with our enemy, the devil, and all the more so as the day approaches when our Savior, Jesus will return again! We must stand strong in that battle too, ever watching and ever on our guard, praying in the power of the Holy Spirit, with faith and love that we may be prepared and ready, and be about our Father's business until that day.

God's blessings and Love ... Until next month, (June '03)
I'm praying about doing a special Study about JESUS' NAME for next month

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Love In Christ,

Genelle

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