The Agape Love Of God

February is the month we celebrate Valentine's Day, that one day a year we dedicate to love and lovers. It's a wonderful blessing to love and to have love from people in our lives.

Wanting to love and be loved is the great common denominator: we all need to feel loved. Feeling alone and unloved is one of the very worst things in the world, and unfortunately, far too many people feel this way. They search and search for the love they are missing in their lives, never realizing that there is One who loves us more than we can even imagine.

Love from other imperfect people will always let us down at some point. No human being is perfect, and nobody can love us perfectly, all the time. Only God loves us with a perfect, unconditional, unfailing love far greater than any love we have ever known. He loves us so very much, and His word constantly reassures us of His great, unfailing love.

The word for God's great love used in the New Testament is "agape". It is only used in reference to God's love, because it is a perfect, infallible love that we can never achieve. It is not merely an intangible feeling or an emotion; it is much more than that. It is not a passive response, but an action word: God's love reveals itself in His actions.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:11-12)
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7)

God chose us before the foundation of the world; He loved us before we were ever even born. He loved us before the beginning of the world, not because we did anything to earn or deserve His love, but because He is the very essense of love. When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we also receive all the wonderful promises that God offers. He adopts us into His family, and we are assured of being beloved by Him..

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. (1 John 3:1a)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. (Ephesians 1:3-7)

God's love is complete and unconditional. Unlike the love of other people, God's love will never fail us, and will never leave us. Nothing can ever separate us from His love.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35)

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. (Jeremiah 31:3)

The fact is, we cannot begin to comprehend the full extent of God's great love for us. We can't imagine the great things He has prepared for us in glory.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Cor. 2:9)

Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
The great agape love of our Heavenly Father goes far beyond our feeble human logic and understanding. It is much higher, much wider, much deeper than we can ever grasp. That is why the apostle Paul prayed such a heartfelt pryaer for his followers, both then and now: He prayed that they would be able to know the full extent of God's love, even though it surpasses all knowledge. We read his prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21:
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

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