And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love1 Corinthians 13:13
Agape love comes from God and is the highest form of love. Agape love is sacrificial and unconditional meaning it persists regardless of circumstances. A good mother and father show agape love to their children and the love will persist through all circumstances. When our heart is filled with agape love, we have compassion to help lost souls or anyone who is hurting. Agape love helps others and seeks to bring lost souls to Christ. .
God loves everyone but he doesn’t treat everyone the same. He doesn’t treat those who reject Christ the same as those who receive Christ. Likewise we can reflect God’s agape love to everyone, but dislike being around some sinful person who refuses to accept Chris. Agape love does not always mean the presence of brotherly love.
Love is the foundation of the Christian life. It is impossible to be close to the Lord without having a heart of love. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8) With a heart filled with love the Lord’s commands becomes the natural way we live, Christ-like. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40) Love is the greatest commandment because the law and the prophets hang on love. Which means all of the Lord’s commandments in his Word are built on a heart of love. If we try to obey the Lord without a heart of love we will fail in overcoming bad habits and our service to the Lord may be nothing more than a checklist of works. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
How do we fill our heart with God’s love? The closer our relationship is with the Lord, the more love we will have in our heart. Our closeness to the Lord comes from reading his Word, praying, fellowshipping with other Christians, and obedience to his commands. We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. (1 John 2:3) We obey his commands by following the Holy Spirit who guides us in accordance to the Word. When we minister to others, the Lord fills our heart with his love and compassion. The more we give the more we receive.
We are created to have the mind of Christ which is a mind of love. We are mentally and physically healthier with a mind of love. Prolonged thoughts of anger, revenge, and fear, are toxic to our mental and physical health and can lower our immune system making us more acceptable to disease. “Research shows that 75 to 98 percent of mental, physical, and behavioral illness comes from ones thought life.”1 It’s to our advantage to take control of our thoughts and change negative thoughts to positive loving thoughts.
Today take control of your thoughts, delete negative thoughts for positive relaxing loving thoughts. Focus on the perfect love God has for you and his desire to help you through life and he is preparing a place for you in heaven. Remember the love Jesus has for you by taking your sins to the cross. We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
Prayer: Lord help me to reflect your love today in every situation. Take away any negative toxic thoughts, and I will live today with victory and hope in Christ. Lord you can do all things and I depend on you to guide me over every mountain and across every valley that I may encounter today. In Jesus name, Amen