Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:18)
Most of the time, feeling loved is accompanied by an act of love. I can still remember when my first church plant showed me their love. After a Sunday gathering, a church member came up to me and said, “Hey Ed, come outside pronto!” As I walked outside, someone yelled, “Move that truck!” Behind the truck was a new John Deere lawn mower—and not just any lawn mower. One of our graphic designers had put flames on it!
In ancient Greek terminology, love had different words that described the various levels of commitment and passion. The word philia described a basic friendship; the word eros described a sensual and romantic relationship; and the word agape described the deepest affection for another person. However, in recent days, the English-speaking world has morphed all the various levels of love into one word. The word love, which once had deep meaning, has become weakened. Isn’t it kind of odd that we can say to our lover, “I love you, babe,” and in the next breath we can use the same word and exclaim, “I love cheesy potatoes!”?
In this verse, the author of 1 John used agape, the strongest Greek word for love. Agape love is a form of love originating from God and directed toward humanity—the type of love that is not just vocalized but mobilized. Agape love is a verb.
Choose to love others by your actions.
Ed Love has been in active ministry for seventeen years. He currently serves as the church multiplication director for The Wesleyan Church.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.