READ: 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Agape love - is not like the love that most of us are used to talking about. Agape love is loving the way that Christ loved. Its loving in an action form. It is sacrificial love that willing suffers inconvenience, hurt, discomfort, and in Christ's example death for another person WITH NO EXPECTATION of receiving anything in return.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are told that "our love for one another will prove to the world that we are his disciples", John 13:35. We are also told in Matthew 7:16 that "we will be recognized by our fruits". Our greatest testimony to others can be how much we love those around us.
Sometimes loving others can be hard (and I will be the first to admit this). We can be easily hurt by friends, family, and even strangers. The hurts can cut deep into the very core of our heart - but for the Christian we are actually called to put this discomfort and pain aside and push forward in our love for others (even our enemies). Christ displayed this very same agape love for mankind when he hung suffering in agony on the cross and yet said, "Father, forgiven them for they know not what they do"!
Loving the unlovely is hard - but it is what we are called to do and by the grace of our Lord Jesus it is possible too.
Who are you having trouble to love today? Ask Jesus to help you to love that person in a special way - with Agape love - willing to sacrifice your own feelings and even suffering inconvenience, hurt, and pain just to show them that they are loved by the Father.
Be the Father's agape love to someone today!!