Thursday, 19 May 2011

Agape is the Greek Word for Love

Actually, I once heard a Bible teacher say Agape was a word coined by Paul because there was no word in the Greek at that time which conveyed the kind of love that God alone is capable of having all the time.


 The word "charity" has come to mean something other than what it meant in the old King James English. It used to be the word for the kind of love that Jesus has for us, full of grace and compassion and long suffering. Now it means giving to the Salvation Army your cast offs that you no longer need, or doing something out of pity, or out of wanting others to commend you for your "charitable works". I've seen this passage sometimes used to beat fellow brothers and sisters over the head with to "encourage" them (it has happened to me personally and I've seen it used on others too) to be more "loving" ( in other words: "don't say anything that will cause me to face anything that will challenge my selfishness and otherwise fleshy sensibilities please"). This is a passage that is personal. It is a passage that the Lord speaks to His own in times of quiet reflection. It isn't something to harass others with to get them in lock-step with yourself, forcing them to be your personal "yes-men" out of their "love" for you. It is to remind us of God's love, and how we often do not measure up to that incredible love that He has for us, and that His Spirit grows in us by His doing.


1Corinthians 12:30-13:13  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity,
                          I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 

 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity,
                         I am nothing. 

 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity,
                         it profiteth me nothing. 

 Charity suffereth long, and is kind;
               Charity envieth not;  
                      charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
 Doth not
          behave itself unseemly,
seeketh not
          her own,
is not
         easily provoked,
thinketh no
 Rejoiceth not
         in iniquity,

   rejoiceth in the truth;
   Beareth all things,
   believeth all things,
   hopeth all things,
   endureth all things.

 Charity never faileth:

but whether there be prophecies,  
        they shall fail; 
whether there be tongues, 
        they shall cease; 
whether there be knowledge,
        it shall vanish away. 

  For we know
                     in part,
and we prophesy  
                     in part. 
  But when that which is perfect is come,
                     then that which is in part shall be done away. 

  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

  And now abideth  
              charity, these three;
                                       but the greatest of these is charity.


  1. This is so timely,

    Our kiddos are memorizing this portion for our church's memory verse program this month!

  2. Wow, Ma, the entire chapter? Or just part of the chapter?

    I love this chapter, but it is also a reminder of how far I am from having that perfect love for others that God has for us. It is something I need to keep saturating my mind with and ponder and pray over often.

    Maybe I'm not too old to commit this chapter to memory? ;-)

  3. That was a most beautiful start to a new blog Susan! I'm finding that the more our personal relationship and understanding of God grows, as we experience His love and acceptance of us through the blood Jesus shed for us as individuals, (warts and all!) then God's love for others pours through us to others as the result. Instead of criticizing others, we pray for them. We understand that the same love God has for us, He has for others.

    This causes the fruit of patience with others to grow, for we can look back with 20/20 hindsight and reflect on how God never left or forsook us and we know that the same works He worked in us, can be worked in others. So, we pray in earnest...for others.

    I am reminded of: 1Jo 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? God's Word is first a mirror, to measure our own hearts, not others.

    We, as Christians are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ, and love for God and for others is what we should expect ourselves to be increasingly looking like.

    We need to allow God to do His work within our hearts, while we are here on earth, so that we will fulfill His purposes, plans for us and one day will hear: Well done, thou good and faithful servant!

    God is Love and we should progressively be moving, through the grace and love of God Himself, to become like our Savior!

    Love is the answer! Always!

    Blessings Susan (and Ma)

  4. Hi Doris!

    Wonderful to have you visit here :)

    So true...for a long time I thought (and too often slip into that mode) where I think I have to contend with the person that is wrong in their interpretation of some passage... forgetting that it is a spiritual war, where we only plant seeds.

    I remember when I was a little girl in Holland we got a magazine that had beautiful illustrations. Once they had a series of drawings on a single page (sort of like a comic but more realistic looking) it was of a little girl planting a seed in a terracotta pot. It showed her in the subsequent pictures watching the pot intently with the final picture being of her having dumped out the dirt and examining the seed for growth! I still remember that but now when I think of it, I see that little girl could very easily be me and how I "plant my seeds"...I'm much too impatient and expect to see instant results and instant growth. Not gonna happen that way, sigh! I have to pray and turn it over to Jesus. :-)

  5. Susan, I've been so busy barely keeping up with blogging these past couple of weeks & missed start of your new blog! I never heard the little girl with the pot & seeds story, too true of me too.:)

  6. Hi Musemater :)

    I didn't really announce it, just wanted to have a place where I could post Bible passages that inspire me and put down a few thoughts about them, kind of thinking and praying out loud, sort of. But I put it on my other blog comments on the sidebar, so if anyone did wander over, I would hope it would be a blessing to others too :)

    I'm glad you like it.

    I'm going to be very busy with my classes for the next few weeks myself, so I doubt I'll be blogging much either. I'm taking a sociology class and an abnormal psychology class (the psych class is over the top with the amount of homework the instructor requires). So far I'm enjoying it, though.

    I'll try to post as I'm able....stay


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