It’s a kind of love that seeks the well-being of others, even enemies, without looking for anything in return. The magnitude of God’s love was revealed in The Advent, life, and death of Jesus. The heart of the Christian faith is a trust that at the center of the universe is a being that is overflowing with love for this world and that our primary purpose is to receive his love and express it back to others.
‘Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. ‘ 1 John 4:7-9
- Rather than using a dictionary definition of all these Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words, Jesus’s earliest followers had their very conception of love changed by what they’d seen him say and do.
- Jesus actually lived out his teachings on love, especially in how he reached out to the poor and downtrodden – people who could never have repaid his kindness.
- Later, the Apostle Paul wrote that God’s agape love for us was reflected most clearly in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for his enemies (Romans 5:8).
- Christian faith is about trusting that the great God of the universe is not a detached, cold, and careless, creator but a divine being overflowing with love and care for his creation.
Talk About It
- It seems like the “golden rule” (“do to others what you would have them do to you”) still holds respect in our culture. Why do you think this is?
- What do you think some of the differences between love as a “feeling” and love as an “action?”
- “Your love for God is expressed by your love for people, and vice versa.” Explain what this might look like practically.
- What are some times in life that you’ve “loved your enemies?” Why was it difficult? What was the outcome?
- Why is it important to help people who can’t repay us?