True Godly Love

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True Godly Love

MP3 Audio (7.23 MB)
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A popular scripture and one I had to memorize as a child is, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
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). I remember repeating it over and over until I could say it without much thought. As an adult I’d see these words quoted on miscellaneous social media boards or placed amidst artful postings, but it wasn’t until years later that I really gave those words some careful thought. God so loved the world. Love is a word we humans throw around quite casually, but I learned that for God it so much more!

When we use this agape love, we do things differently. We decidedly choose to express Christ-like attributes. It means we try to see people as God does—His potential children.

When we express godly love, we are showing people what God is like. As Christians we are showing others who He is through our actions. The first way we show others how to love is by how we treat each other. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35 John 13:35By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.
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).

God loved us so much, that He not only allowed His son to suffer cruel and terrible torture, but also died for us! That’s no small matter. Jesus Christ was human; He felt every single blow. Because of that sacrifice, we are able to receive the Holy Spirit, which is given as a gift (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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). It allows us to have God’s law written on our hearts and in our minds. That helps us to grow and bear spiritual fruits (Hebrews 10:16 Hebrews 10:16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, said the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
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). Why is that important?

Galatians lists the fruits of the Spirit and the flesh. It says that “the flesh lusts against the Spirit” (Galatians 5:17 Galatians 5:17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would.
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). That means that when I am not living the way God’s Holy Spirit leads me, I am pushing Him out of my life. He put the Spirit within me, and Scripture says I will not be a part of the Kingdom of God if I don’t live by it (Galatians 5:21 Galatians 5:21Contentions, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
American King James Version×
). Love is one of the fruits of the Spirit. The word love is the Greek word agape. This love is expressed as the very highest form of love, a Christ-like love. It comes directly from God, and if we are using it correctly, we will demonstrate God’s love from within, as part of our very being.

When we use this agape love, we do things differently. We decidedly choose to express Christ-like attributes. It means we try to see people as God does—His potential children. That means we are kinder, we serve others more, and we become more encouraging. God’s plan is that all men will one day experience His love fully. “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:18 2 Corinthians 6:18And will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, said the Lord Almighty.
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).

God’s law is love

Love is not just something God does, it is who He is! God’s goal is for us to be transformed, so that our character is also defined by love.

God and the Word—the one who became Christ—knew before creation that to transform human beings spiritually and bring them into the Kingdom of God, Christ’s life would have to be sacrificed for humanity’s sins (Revelation 13:8 Revelation 13:8And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
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).

Many churches teach that the commandments are done away with because of Christ’s reply to a man who asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:36-40 Matthew 22:36-40 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
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).

Did you know that Jesus was quoting an Old Testament scripture here? Look at Leviticus 19:18 Leviticus 19:18You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
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and Deuteronomy 6:5 Deuteronomy 6:5And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
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and you see Christ was not creating new commandments, but reiterating what was already established. Why He called it a new commandment was that we now had His example to follow (John 13:34 John 13:34A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
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). The commandments are love (2 John 1:6 2 John 1:6And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.
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).

Love is an action. It’s not just the way we think or how we feel. It’s respectful, it’s compassionate. Love naturally brings about harmony and peace.

God is loving and forgiving. He is patient and wants what is best for us as any loving caring father would. He is not reluctant or cold to our needs, but He guides us through His Word. We should enthusiastically show the same loving devotion to Him (1 John 4:19 1 John 4:19We love him, because he first loved us.
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). As I try to become a godlier woman in my own life, I think about how God and others view me. Am I showing them a good example of what God’s love should look like?