Welcome to another episode on this blog. Today we would be considering the topic “AGAPE EXPRESSED.” Our scriptural text is taken from 1 John 3:1; 16 – 17.
“1Jn 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”
“1Jn 3:16-17 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
The word Agape is a Greek word adopted into English language which means “the highest form of love, charity” and “the love of God for man, the love of man for God and the love for one’s fellow man.”
From our chosen Bible text for today we see the most profound expression of Agape by God. He gave His only begotten Son to be beaten and sacrificed for our sins. “John 3:16 For God so loved the world.” The love God has for us is beyond doubt an ideal example of “love expressed”. When man fell into sin and became detached from God’s glory, man became helpless and miserable. Before man ever thought of restoring his relationship with God, God already orchestrated a beautiful plan.
“2Cor – 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them……..”
God reconciled man to himself not by the efforts of man but His own wisdom and love. He loved and still loves us to the uttermost and He is able to save sinners who think they have no hope of receiving forgiveness. Heb 7:25.
We can see that God did not just stop at His promise of love for us, he expressed it. God expressed His love to us. A vital ingredient of love is expression. We cannot claim to love only by our lips and promises, our love must be manifested. We must express it in our words, in our actions, reactions and character. We must follow the perfect example of The Father by loving those around us, even the unlovable. The commandment of love given to us is that of manifestation. Matt 22:37-39.
Our lives must be a beacon of hope and solace for people. In 1 John 3:17, the Bible says “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
This is a verse that buttresses the point we have been stressing in this write-up. It also asks a very important question which we should carefully observe. Expressing our love for others is very important. It cannot be over-emphasized.
It is not possible for you to say you love others and close your eyes to the lack and want of others. Let’s paint a quick scenario here. If a brethren or even an unbeliever comes to you telling you how hungry he is and how he hasn’t eaten for the past 36 hours. On the other hand, you have a surplus of foodstuff and money. How can you say you love such a person if what you only do is pray a prayer of provision for him and send him off? Let me tell you, you have not in the least way manifested love. You have only blurted out some words into the air that has no effect. You have not expressed Agape. Imagine if you could enter into your store as the person presented his case to you, and you packaged a little foodstuff for him and you pray for him. By doing this, you have expressed Agape, you have shown forth the perfect love of God. It isn’t rocket science. The love of God urges us to manifest love in our actions without difficulty. Only if Christians will arise and start expressing the love of God as Jesus did. Only if we would yield and allow the manifestation of Agape in us. With little actions of kindness and goodness driven by love, we can change the world and make it heaven on earth.
I want us to take a look at practical methods in which we can express the love of God to unbelievers, our neighbours, and virtually everyone we come across. Listed below are the 5 practical ways;
- Help them out in a difficult situation: When Jesus went to a wedding with his mother, he miraculously provided wine when there was none. He set a perfect example for us. Though, we may not be able to miraculously dispel a difficult situation, we can help such person by giving them money or things they need to get out of that bad situation. John 2:1-11.
- Rejoice and mourn with them: We should show deep care for others. We should genuinely rejoice with them when they succeed, we should also mourn with them when they are hurt or in distress. Luke 7:13
- Freely forgive offences: Jesus removed the limit for our forgiveness. He commanded us to always forgive. It may be hard to forgive some hurts and evil done to us, but with God’s grace we can show love through our forgiveness. The person that hurt you might even wonder “After all I have done to hurt him, he still forgives” and you can lead him to Christ through that act of forgiveness. Luke 17:3-5
- Humbly serve others: Jesus humbly served his disciples, he washed their feet in perfect humility. This is a great example for us to emulate. We can also serve others by helping them when they are sick and by being gracious towards them. Gal 5:13.
- Meet their physical needs: If you see someone you know desperately needs help, in any form, help such individual. Give your clothes, give your money, and give your belongings. By doing so, you are manifesting love, you are revealing the nature of Christ. Prov 19:17.
This list cannot be exhausted. There are many practical ways in which you can express the love of God to others. Sometimes, you don’t have to do much preaching and evangelism, you just have to let your life show forth the love of God. You just have to express Agape. In so doing, people will see the beauty and fragrance your life is eliciting and they will have no choice but to listen when you evangelize to them. Our lives are a work of God in progress, the commandment of love applies as much as to me as to you.
I want us to take this prayer; Father, help us to love perfectly as you do. Give us the grace to manifest your love in our actions and character to others. Amen.
I know I have been blessed by this post. I know you have also. Kindly share and comment if you have any question. See you again on Tuesday. God bless you.