June 8, 2011
What a word!
We hear that word from the moment we are born.
Mommy whispers in our ear, ‘Mommy loves you”.
As we grow we hear, and therefore learn, that big brother just ‘loves’ the neighbors new car. Big sister, ‘loves’ her new boyfriend she just had one date with. Mom ‘loves’ the new wallpaper in the bedroom. Dad ‘loves’ his new job.
Our first impression of love is one of tender affection. And honestly it IS our whole world. But as we grow, that word becomes watered down. That once powerful word which was the definition of our closest bond, has come to be on an equal playing ground with the neighbors new car and wallpaper.
Therefore, it is no wonder that when we first hear that God ‘loves’ us, we really do not have any true concept of what that really is. And in turn when we are told to ‘love’ others, we ‘love’ them as wallpaper which we strip away as soon as we become bored with it, or cars which are traded away every few years. This is the way we love because this is what we have come to know.
Recently God specifically led me to Philippians 1:9-11. I have read this scripture many times and had also underlined it. But as I read it this time I sensed that there was a much deeper meaning, which yearned to be revealed. I wanted it to soak into my being, so I asked God to help me to get it, really get it, in a new and fresh and powerful way.
And this, I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight. Amplified minus the parenthesis
The first thing that stood out to me was that love (agape – greek) has knowledge and keen insight. We have often thought of love as being simply an emotion, not an entity with knowledge and insight. Maybe we have come to realize that love is also a verb. It is something you do.
But love is also a proper noun. Love can and does possess knowledge and keen insight. Then I began to think, what was this knowledge and keen insight that love had.
Also in this verse it talks about love being developed more and more. So it has a beginning, but from that beginning it can be developed into a fullness beyond what it was originally.
Verse 10 reads:
So, that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless. Amplified minus the parenthesis
As I was meditating on these scriptures I began to realize that by exercising our love and developing it to its fullest, we begin to learn what is of true value intuitively and, that understanding causes us to make moral and right decisions which lead to purity.
This happens automatically, apart from our own effort because it is life transformation. Not by forcing ourselves to follow the ‘be good’ rules, but by immersing ourselves in the reality of God’s agape love for us and funnelling it through to others. Life transformation ONLY happens from the inside out, NOT from outside in.
Your actions will be birthed out of a fully developed agape love and not out of obligation to follow a moral set of rules. Because our love will have become so developed, the knowledge and keen insight that love has will create in us automatically, a caliber of living that is reflective of Christ.
Verse 11 reads:
May you abound in and be filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ to the honor and praise of God. Amplified minus the parenthesis
When reading the parenthesis in this amplified verse I began to see a defined purpose in developing our love. A purpose beyond just being good and loving and kind. The parenthesis at the end of verse 11 say [that His glory may be both manifested and recognized].
I meditated on these scriptures for several days to allow God to fully reveal the deep meaning in these scriptures. Each day I saw more and more the depth and true meaning behind them. Here is a summary of what I feel is the meaning of these scriptures.
We are to purposely exercise our love toward everyone by drawing from Jesus himself and funneling His love, which is Himself, to others. We are to exercise love daily, using it actively each and every moment. As it grows, we will automatically begin to make right and moral decisions. As we begin to make these right and moral decisions our lives will become more and more a reflection of Christ. And through this, God’s glory will not only be manifest in our lives, but it will be recognized by others and all men will be drawn to Him.
…faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love. I Cor. 13:13