Life as an Overcomer
Jesus responds to a profound question:
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. “And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Lu 10:25, 27)
Love … God, neighbor, and Self … What a concept! Love is talked about in many contexts, from a love of God, wife, country, to sport and pizza. Perhaps the best teaching I have seen on this dynamic topic has been developed by my dear friend and ministry partner Dr. Ken Chant, who presents love from a Greek view, consisting of four words.
Eros … Wow, man!!
Erotic love is a blessing from the Lord when expressed in proper context. One cannot help but assume that when the Lord woke the man in the garden, and presented the woman in answer to his prayers, Adam did more than wax poetic, but exclaimed is incredible delight … Wow! Man! Thank you Jesus! Romantic love, wonderful, precious, if sometimes a bit unstable, is nonetheless a part of the love the Lord allows us to experience in this life. Of course, this is not what Jesus was talking about in context of this scripture.
Philia … Hey Brother, Where art thou?
Brother and sister love, fidelity and loyalty, are important and wonderful. The love and protective care that is felt between brothers, whether in the natural expression or in the body of Christ, is beautiful, but again, not what Jesus was alluding to in this passage.
Storge … We are family, all my brothers, sisters and I
Family love was put in perspective by Jesus (see Matt. 12:46-50); important, but secondary to relationships in the Kingdom of God. Our loyalty to mom and dad, even husband and wife, important as they are, are secondary to our love for God and others … demonstrated in agape love.
Agape … Love you like the Rock of Ages
Agape is unselfish love, often equated to God’s love. This level of love, which mankind can only approximate, shows a willingness to give to others before self. But scriptures do not state we are to merely express love in words or platitudes, but we are to do so with …
Heart and Soul
From the center of our being to the center of another’s, we are to express our love, as Christ did, as a demonstration of our sanctification. (1 Thess. 5:23) This type of love requires effort, and a balance of all four loves presented above, requiring …
A Neighbor to love
Jesus asked the question (paraphrased) who is our Neighbor? (Lu 10:30-37) It is often the undesirable, the unlovely, whom God challenges us to love. In Jesus’ teaching, the religious would have thought it impossible to fulfill this requirement, and with man, it is; but with God, all things are possible. Of course, in many ways …
Only Nuts Should Apply
That is, you have to be a bit radical to love the way Jesus did. But we are never closer to having the mind of Christ than when we radically love the difficult amongst us. Love is key…and I will have some final thoughts on this important topic in the final blog on What Does God Want?