Saturday, September 17, 2016



Love is not the measure of the person we love but the measure of God in us!

Too often people mistake feelings for love. I hear about people who are falling in and out of love with this person or that person all depending on the circumstances or the performance of the other person. Love can be mistaken … I mean in the sense that a person can imagine they are in love when actually they are impressed, intrigued, interested, involved, or even inebriated. People often mistake lust for love or compassion for love. Feelings often get into the driver’s seat of our lives and fool us into thinking we are either in love or out of love with something or someone.

Today I hope to shine a brighter light of understanding on the subject of love. I believe it will help us to more accurately identify and verbalize our feelings without falling prey to the situations in life or our feelings.

The English language uses the word love to describe so many different and variant feelings. We love chocolate; we love dogs; we love cool evenings; we love family; we love a good movie; we love the USA; we love each other and we love God. If we aren’t watchful all of these various types of love can get colored the same and soon there is no distinction between loving a movie and loving your neighbor. When they’re good and they please you, you love them, and when they’re not and don’t, you don’t!

This morning we are going to draw some distinctions between various concepts of love. In order to do this we will examine 4 Types of Love. The Greeks language explains them easily by using four different words to describe what is meant when a person says, “I love you!” The 4 are:

1.   Phileo – General or brotherly love for persons, places or things.
2.   Stergo – Cherishing tender love and affection for family.
3.   Eros – Sexually oriented attention and/or attraction to another
4.   Agape – Unconditional, transcendent, self sacrificing, everlasting love

By the way, Lust and Love are as far apart as are Love and Hate. Many times people experience lust and have feelings of lust and mistake it for love. The lust of the flesh can be easily identified if we learn the dynamic and fundamental differences between the two.

·        Lust is motivated by a desire to gratify the flesh. Lust speaks and acts based solely on what the flesh wants. Lust is not love. Lust wants “my good at your expense”. Lust separates us from peace and joy and godliness. Lust promises everything but affords nothing.
·        Love on the other hand is giving. Love says “your good at my expense”.
·        Lust enjoys being loved but does not give love in return.
·        Lust says, “I want you but I don’t want you to have me.”
·        Lust attempts to control and manipulate and punish.
·        Lust masquerades as love. Many believe they are being loved when they are rather being manipulated and controlled by the lusts of another person. Love plus lust equals abuse.
·        Lust can never get enough and can never be satisfied.
·        Love is fulfilling and love will not separate us from God, friends and/or family.
·        Love investigates and takes continual inventory to insure it is doing what is best for the person who is loved.
·        When two people are in love, the agape type of love, they want and do what is best for the other person and have a desire to serve instead of wanting to be served. (Jesus said that He came to serve, not to be served … He was talking about love.)
·        Don’t mistake or accept lust for love … you will be disappointed.

More than Phileo, Stergo, or Eros – Agape is our saving grace!

John 3
16  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17  "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Romans 5:8  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

More than the love which is dependent on a mutual respect or response, God loves unconditionally. And, God expects us to love others in the same way we are loved by Him. We should also demonstrate our love for God and others. Love does not mean that we agree or that we can walk together in life – nonetheless God is asking us to love with an agape love.

Love is not the measure of the person we love but the measure of God in us!

1 John 4
7  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
11  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

He who does not agape, does not know God. We all need to know God better.

How can I know God better? I’m glad you asked … it begins by doing these three things on a consistent basis.
1.   Talk to God
2.   Live right
3.   Read the Bible

As we get to know God better we begin to experience the capacity to discern love and we begin to love others the way God intended.

You might say, “I love others … it’s others who don’t love me!” If that’s the situation you are in today let me pray for you now. It is a sad situation to be in a relationship that is one sided, manipulative, controlling, hurtful, selfish, abusive, or to feel abandoned and unloved by those for whom you have committed your life. There are some situations that only God can help you with. Although we may not know how, nonetheless I do know that if you will give your situation to God and give Him time and opportunity to work, He will as only He can. If that sounds like something you need … pray with me right now and let God know you need help. Then, talk to God; Live right; and Read your Bible daily … see what God will do!