God's Agape Love
GWEA Monthly Message, February 2020
REVEREND GORDON WILLIAMS
Each year on February 14th, we celebrate Valentine’s Day. The Roman Catholic Priest, St. Valentine was martyred and beheaded because he refused to stop marrying people. He knew that there was a new and more effective “agape” (ah-GAH-pee) love that Christians acquired only when it was “poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 5:5). Many people try to imitate this agape love but that only lasts for a very short time. Agape love makes the other 3 kinds of love: “eros” romantic love; “philos” friendship love; “storge” family love or love for your country, permanent.
Peter tried to imitate this love when he asked Jesus, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matt.18:21-22). That amounts to 490 times each day! Whenever somebody draws a limit to the number of times that he or she will forgive somebody, they demonstrate that they are not operating in God’s agape love.
This is the reason why Jesus asked Peter, after his resurrection, “do you love (agape) me more that these?” Peter said, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love (philos) you as a friend”. Jesus asked him, “do you love (agape) me?” And again, Peter said, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love (philos) you as a friend.” Then Jesus asked him a third time, “do you love (philos) me as a friend?” Peter was upset and he said, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love (philos) you as a friend” (Jn. 21:15-19). Peter knew that he did not have agape love in his heart because he could not forgive anybody 7 times, let alone 490 times in a day! He did not have that agape love with which to forgive until the Day of Pentecost came (Acts 2-4).
St. Valentine’s Day claims a supernatural love that Paul defines: “Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist upon its own way; it is not irritable or restful; it does not rejoice at wrong (does not keep a record of wrong), but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (1 Cor. 13:4-8). This amazing agape love guarantees the other 3 kinds of love and it is the only kind of love that will never end. The other types of love do not have the ability to forgive endlessly, nor can they love endlessly from here to eternity as God’s perfect agape love.
How do we receive this love? First, we experience it through Salvation when Jesus forgives us for our sin, then we receive it when we get the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is the only kind of love that can be commanded, “This I command you, to love (agape) one another” (Jn. 15:17). After Pentecost, Peter could love (agape) Jesus.
After we have our own personal Pentecost, we can have agape love for Jesus and love Him with our whole heart, mind, body and soul (Matt. 22:37). Agape love guarantees our romantic love, our friendship love and our family love “until death do us part”. If you have not had this amazing agape love poured into your heart, I invite you to come to one of our House churches/meetings or call me so you can receive it.
If you have not received the Gift of the Holy Spirit, I invite you come to one of our house meetings or contact me for prayer and guidance. You will discover that you can have an exciting Christian life and receive the Holy Spirit with His wonderful and exciting gifts! Happy Valentine's Day!
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