How Do We Show God's Love? (Part 1)
What is love? The Bible uses many different words and meanings for the word love, but the most important form of love used in the Bible is “Agape”. Agape love is spiritual love, or the love of God. This is the type of love that Christians are to exhibit. Romans 5:5 says that “the love [agape] of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us.”
It is important to show agape love because we are to be living examples of God’s love to the world and to let everyone know that we are His people. The only true definition of agape love in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 reads Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (NKJV)
What is this verse trying to teach us about God’s love? Let’s break down these elements and what they actually mean. There are eight key points that are listed in the verses of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. The eight are love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does no parade itself, is not puffed up; love does not behave rudely; love does not seek its own; love is not provoked; love thinks no evil; and love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.
First love suffers long and is kind. Longsuffering and kindness have always gone together especially when it comes to love. That is because love, kindness, and the ability to suffer long are fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 reads, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Colossians 3:12-13 reads Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing on another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do you. Colossians is saying that instead of petty disagreements, holding grudges, or constantly reminding another of past mistakes, we are to forgive as Christ forgave us. How many times have you sinned and the Father has forgiven you? Remember, we are to reign with Christ. Therefore, we must learn to bear long with, and show kindness to one-another now. If we cannot do this with our fellow brethren, how can we expect to do it for all eternity?
Second love does not envy. Envy is when we are disappointed that someone else was chosen over us and we want them to fail or do what we can to help them fail, instead of being happy for them. Proverbs 14:30 reads A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. Do not have envy towards
others or the things of the flesh. Envy is not a pretty treat to see on people, especially a Christian.