Pastor Jeff Knott of Grace Church in Port Hope, Ontario continues the sermon series on Psalm 23 “Life Without Lack” with “Agape Love”:
What anchors our lives is faith in God no matter what the need.
Along with faith, death to self makes us willing vessels and open receptacles. With these two gifts, God is free to pour into our lives His life-giving love, something the Bible calls agape love.
If you think about these three – faith, death to self and agape love – they cover a lot of our ups and downs of our lives. You can ask yourself: Is this a faith moment? Is this a putting aside my own agenda moment? Or, is this a moment to love and be loved?
Agape love – this is the word for divine love, unselfish, unconditional kind of love even to the point of sacrifice.
Agape love’s source is God.
We find our foundation in the fact that God loves us. He is our source, because God is love.
Agape love cannot be defined or described outside the Person and work of God. Perfect love is found in God only.
Like faith and death to self, this kind of love is a gift to us.
That’s the kind of love that God loves us with, He only wants what’s best for us; He only wants what’s good.
Agape love frees us.
How do we know when agape love is present in our lives? We know agape love is present when we never give up; when we care more for others than for ourselves; when we don’t want what we don’t have; when we’re not strutting around or have swelled heads; when we don’t force ourselves on others or have a me-first attitude. Love doesn’t fly off the handle. Love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others. Love doesn’t revel when others grovel, but takes pleasure in the flowering of truth. Love puts up with anything, trusts God always; always looks for the best; never looks back; keeps on going; love never fails.
That’s God’s kind of love for us and having freely received it we are now free to love others with that same kind of love.
This is a description of love’s characteristics. These things are present when love is present, when God’s love is present in our lives and love’s activity is working through our lives.