Love, Unconditional

One Sunday a little boy looked up at his dad and asked, “Daddy, how does God love us?” His father answered, “Son, God loves us with an unconditional love.” The lad thought for a moment and then asked, “Daddy, what kind of love is unconditional love?” After a few minutes of silence his father answered, “Do you remember the two boys who used to live next door to us and the cute little puppy they got last Christmas?” “Yes.” “Do you remember how they used to tease it, throw sticks and even rocks at it?” “Yes.” “Do you also remember how the puppy would always greet them with a wagging tail and would try to lick their faces?” “Yes.” “Well, that puppy had an unconditional love for those two boys. They certainly didn’t deserve his love for them because they were mean to him. But, he loved them anyway.” The father then made his point: “God’s love for us is also unconditional. Men threw rocks at his Son, Jesus, and hit him with sticks. They even killed him. But, Jesus loved them anyway.”

Love, Mature/Immature

Infantile love follows the principle:

“I love because I am loved.”

Mature love follows the principle:

“I am loved because I love.”

Immature love says:

“I love you because I need you.”

Mature love says:

“I need you because I love you.”

Erich Fromm

How the Ephesians grew cold in love

Rev 2:4 Yet I hold this against you: you have forsaken your first love. The order of words in the Greek is emphatic; the clause could be translated, “Your first love you have left.” Christ used the word agapēn, speaking of the deep kind of love that God has for people. This rebuke contrasts with what Paul wrote the Ephesians 35 years earlier, that he never stopped giving thanks for them because of their faith in Christ and their love (agapēn) for the saints Ephesians 1:15-16  Most of the Ephesian Christians were now second-generation believers, and though they had retained purity of doctrine and life and had maintained a high level of service, they were lacking in deep devotion to Christ.

From Revelation one can see that the Ephesian church had succeeded in keeping out the false teachers (Rev. 2:2) but had failed to maintain the vibrancy of their first love for Christ (Rev. 2:4). This is substantiated in 1 Timothy 1:5, when Paul wrote from Macedonia to Timothy at Ephesus (ca a.d. 62) that the goal of his instruction was “love which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” Thus the theme of love needed to be stressed for the saints at Ephesus. This is in harmony with the contents of Ephesians, for the verb form of “love” (agapaō) is used 9 times in Ephesians, whereas Paul used it only 23 times in all his other letters. Paul used the noun (agapē, “love”) 10 times in Ephesians compared with 65 times in his other epistles. Therefore, of the 107 times Paul used the verb or noun “love,” 19 are in Ephesians. Thus more than one-sixth of his references to “love” appear in this small epistle to the Ephesians. This letter begins with love (Eph 1:4, 6) and ends with love (Eph 6:23–24). Also Ephesians teaches that Jewish and Gentile believers are one in Christ, which is demonstrated by their love for one another. This love can come only from God. Possibly Paul, realizing they were starting to forsake their first love, wrote this epistle to encourage them to love both God and their fellow saints.

Reflections of Unloving behaviour

an unloved woman who marries is unbearable (Prov. 30:23).

They are unloving (Rom. 1:31);

men will be unloving (2 Tim. 3:3-5);

if I do not have love I am nothing (1 Cor. 13:2);

if I give away all I have and have not love I am nothing (1 Cor. 13:3);

he who does not love remains in death (1 John 3:14);

if anyone closes his heart against his brother, how does God’s love abide in him? (1 John 3:17);

he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen (1 John 4:20);

if your brother is hurt by what you eat, you are not walking in love (Rom. 14:15);

he who does not love his brother is not of God (1 John 3:10);

he who does not love does not know God (1 John 4:8);

“It is our care for the helpless, our practice of lovingkindness, that brands us in the eyes of many of our opponents. ‘Look!’ they say. ‘How they love one another! Look how they are prepared to die for one another’ ” (Tertullian).

Love manifest in the direction your Heart is pointing.  Focus and concentration is a form of love.  Point your heart to God, He is the source of the Love your are seeking!

Praat saam