1 John 4:7-8- Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 Peter 4:8- Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
To be honest, this was the most overwhelming blog I've ever written, not because I didn't want to, or because I didn't have the time, but because there are more verses in the Bible about God's love for us than any other verse, and I want to be able to explain His love for us in a way that makes sense and glorifies Him. This actually is this second time I've written this post. The entire thing was deleted the first time and it was really upsetting, but God is bigger than that, and His love is so vast, I don't understand it, no one does. I can only pray that God writes for me, because I don't have the understanding to be able to explain it like He can.
This message has always been important to me because my Papa has taught me about it all my life. He has never understood why in the English language there is only one way to say love, whereas in Ancient Greek, there are actually six. Eros, which means passion, or desirous love. Philia, which means deep friendship. Ludus, which means playful love, like young love. Pragma, which means longstanding love, like long married couples, and the last one is called Agape, which is the highest form of love, the most radical and unconditional love that covers everyone, and it is only used to describe God's love for us. I love how God has His own word to describe how He feels towards us, yet He's the only one who fully understands it.
The first thing that hits me about these verses and words is the weight of how unconditional this love is. "Unconditional love" is a hard concept to grasp because the people in our lives can't love like God does. At school, or work, we spend so much time changing, hiding all of our flaws, just to "fit in" a crowd that ultimately changes every aspect of who we are. In relationships, we leave so many things unsaid, leaving us confused, and questioning if we are even loved anymore. What if one day we woke up with the mindset that the only one we need acceptance from is God? What would finally be accomplished or said? What in our lives would be different? What could happen if our whole perspective of life went from trying to impress everyone else, to realizing that we are already so accepted and adored by God? He sees our rough patches, our doubts (because yeah, there are a lot of those), and our unbelief, yet nothing we could ever do could change how He sees us. There's no hiding who we are from God, and I find it astounding that we still can't get people to like us even if they don't see our flaws, yet God sees them ALL and loves us unconditionally.
Not many things in our lives last forever. I know that we all have friendships or relationships we pray will last, but we can never be completely sure. Earthly things separate people, but nothing can separate us from God's love. In the beginning, sin separated us from God, but He sent Jesus to die for our sins, connecting us back to Him. If that's not selfless, agape love then I'm not sure what is. Sometimes, I forget how long "everlasting" really is. It's forever, and that really doesn't give it justice either.
A God that doesn't need to be impressed, but unconditionally loves us forever, is a God I want to serve. Not only does He love, but He IS love, and if we are to live like Christ, then we need to love also. Imagine the difference our schools, states, and nations would have if Christ's love were the main goal. I, personally, can't even comprehend it all. It's radical, scandalous, and perfect. You are agape loved.