Pastor Alex Adegboye
Apostle Paul preceded his teachings in thirteenth chapter of first Corinthians with a stunning statement that the gift to be desired the most is love (Agape – the God-kind of love).
1 Cor 12:31 “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”
This was further illustrated in 1 John 3:16 that love will make you die to sensuality, your dos and don’ts and carnal ungodly desires.
1 Jn 3:16 “This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves.” (Message)
The height of God’s expression to mankind is love and it’s behooving that we love one another as He has loved us. It takes a measure of spiritual maturity to love like God. As we go further and deeper into this teaching, we will consider the following questions about this kind of love called agape.
- What are the marks of agape?
- How does agape love behave?
- How can you recognize it?
- What is the evidence that a person is moving in this kind of love?
1 Cor 13:4-8 “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 evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but 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.”
15 QUALITIES OF AGAPE LOVE
1. Love suffers long – this is to forbear and patiently wait. It means you so love a person that you don’t give up. This love is endless; it is forever. It never knows how to quit. It will test your patience to its elastic limit – Rom 5:5 “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
When you are in a relationship you will be tested for patience. Our flesh is short-tempered but agape is not. The longer the suffering the stronger agape becomes.
2. Love is kind – meaning love is adaptable and compliant with the needs of others, that is, to fulfill other people’s needs to your needs. Agape love will make you want to bend backward. It is the willingness to serve others to meet their needs. 1 Sam 19:1-2, 20:4, 13-17, 2 Sam 9:1-13.
1 Sam 19:1-2 “And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan Saul’s son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself.”
1 Sam 20:4 “Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee.”
3. Love does not envy – to be envious is to be radically consumed with your own desires and plans alone. To be committed to the things that concerns you to the exclusion of others. The bible says agape does not envy. King Saul was envious of David and this brings us to the fact that an alarming proportion of people are envious.
1 Sam 18:7-9 “And the women answered as they played, and said, Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very angry, and this thing was evil in his eyes. And he said, They have given David ten thousands, and to me they have given only thousands. And what more can he have but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.”
4. Love does not vaunt itself – Love does not blow its trumpet. People who vaunt themselves blow their trumpet. They are inflated by their achievements. They are buried in themselves and all they know is me, myself and I. They also have a sense of insecurity. Agape projects others and ensures security. It doesn’t exalt itself. To vaunt oneself is to go about with a bag of air.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
When you do kindness to people not because they deserve it but because you love them, you are expressing Agape. Loving is sowing; love unconditionally.
God bless you.