One Way Love

1 John 3:18 says, “My dear children, let’s not just talk about love, lets practice real love”. God's love, the highest form of love, is love that is predetermined, “one way’ you might say. Yes, love is a choice but its more than a choice, its a predetermined choice. It’s the deliberate act of choosing someone and loving them more than life itself. Obviously I am talking about the highest degree of love and yes there are different levels of loves expression.

The bible talks about this kind of love using the word ‘agape’. There is also the love associated with friendship known as “philao” which is brotherly love. Then we have eros love which is sexual love. And finally, we have “storge” which is the love shared between brothers and sisters and parents and children. Yet, the pinnacle of love is “agape” love, the love we call God’s kind of love because it is by a deliberate act of His predetermined will and not determined by feelings or emotions. Don't misunderstand, love impacts our feelings and emotions, it touches them deeply but agape love is not led or motivated by them.

There is an old saying that says, “Dead men don’t have feelings” which is to imply when we come to Jesus we die to ourselves and live to and for God. Remember, all of Jesus appointed apostles died martyr's deaths minus John, and yet each one willingly went to their death convinced completely in their heart and soul that it would be better to die than to deny the truth that they came to know in Jesus Christ. I have always appreciated the way our worship pastor, Larry shares about their willingness to die for their faith. He said, "For they had already died years ago when they determined to follow Jesus." Their devotion to Christ is like the love a great marriage enjoys. As couples stand on their wedding day at an altar pledging their love to one another they say vows, they make predetermined promises that contain words like, "For better or for worse, for richer and for poorer and in sickness and in health until death do us part.”
What couples are saying to one another is, "I will be with you no matter what, as a matter of fact I am expecting periods of time in our marriage where we are tired and worn out where we will experience a lack of health and our marriage will be marked by sickness. As well, I except the fact that we will go through seasons of loss where we will possibly not be able to make ends meet. We could be flat broke, dirt poor as some say, but I want you to know with you by my side I will always be rich even when the world deems us poor. Finally, I know too there will be times in our married life where it won't be better but worse, possibly so bad that everything within us will be challenged seeking to get us to quit, to give up on each other. But, this is what I want you to know today, our wedding day. I go into this marriage knowing all these things are possibilities but I go into this marriage making the commitment that no matter what, I will not give up, I will not quit on you, that is my promise, my vow to you."
Jesus said it best, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." True love is not measured by a promise made but rather a promise fulfilled. Jesus both proclaimed His love for us and He proved it to be true when He went to the Cross in our place. Don't forget loved one, the bible defines and describes love and its not left for us to redefine, to change to fit our culture or our own selfish desires. Love has always been based on truth and the highest form of love is agape, predetermined one way love, a love like Jesus in that it offers to us a promise of a lifetime when God says, "I will never leave you and never forsake you".
"The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you."
Jeremiah 31:3

Michael Osthimer





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