Now is the time for AGAPE

“The
best use of life is love.
The
best expression of love is time.
The
best time to love is now.”
― Rick Warren
The Greek word Agape is often translated to Love in the New Testament, and the essence
of agape love is self-sacrifice. Unlike our English word Love, Agape
is not used in the Bible to refer to romantic or sexual love, nor does it refer
to close friendship or brotherly love. Agape love is unique and distinguished
by its nature and character. Agape love is the love of God, whose very nature
is love. God does not merely love;
He is love.
Everything God does flows from
His pure and loving heart. His affection for us comes for no other reason
except that it is His nature and the expression of His being. We are the
undeserving recipients upon whom He lavishes His affection. In that same way,
we are called to love others sacrificially.
Loving others takes time and sacrifice.
Jesus gave the parable of the
Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37) as an example of sacrifice for the sake of
others, even for those who may care nothing at all for us, or even hate us, as
the Jews did the Samaritans.
Sacrificial love is not based on
a feeling, but a determined act of the will, a joyful resolve to put the welfare
of others above our own. But this type of love does not come naturally to
humans. Because of our fallen nature, we are incapable of producing such a
love. If we are to follow the example of agape, it can only come from its true
source:
Only God can generate within us
the kind of self-sacrificing love which is the proof that we are His children.
And because of God’s agape love toward us, we are now able to love one another.
Ask yourself today whether you’ve
been a free and willing vessel of God’s agape love, and whether you’ve allowed
it to flow out to others. What was the last sacrificial expression you’ve
extended to someone else?
Remember the wave of people who
initiated and encouraged others to follow suit in a trend toward
Random Acts of Kindness? Step
out today and revive that trend. Give yourself the permission to perform five acts
of random and selfless kindness this week. Make it your mission to take the
time and make the sacrifice. As Rick Warren wrote, “The time to love is NOW.”
John 15:10-12 (New Living Translation)
10 “When you obey
my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you
will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is
my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.”

# # #

Sandra D. Bricker is a best-selling and
award-winning author of laugh-out-loud romantic comedy for the Christian
market. Her most popular series (that started with Always the Baker Never
the Bride
) will conclude this spring with Always the Baker FINALLY the
Bride
, which is now available for pre-order at Amazon.

Sandie leads a team of writers in creating the Living It Out daily Bible study for CedarCreek Church. Today’s
devotion is based on the Living It Out study on the importance of loving others.
If you enjoyed it, feel free to check out the daily studies by e-mail or audio
podcast by clicking HERE