Definitions of the word love: 1) a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties; 2) attraction based on sexual desire; 3) affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests; 4) warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion: 5) unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another

Love is what makes the world go around. Have you ever heard that said before? Through the years I have heard it many times. The question is ‘What do people mean when they use that phrase?’. I think sometimes they mean that as long as there is love then everything is ok. No matter what the circumstances, love makes it all acceptable. Well there may be some truth in that when taken in the right context and perspective. But the thing that must be considered is ‘What is real love and where does it come from?’. We will consider that question as we move through our discussion of love.

The word love is used very loosely in today’s society. We use the word to say we are fond of things such as seasons, foods, sports, movies, etc. instead of using a word similar to like or care for. We also use the word to describe our relationship with our spouse, family members and friends but with each use comes a varying degree of the depth of the word. I love college football. I love spring and fall. I love pintos beans and cornbread. I love my wife. I love my children. I love my grandkids. These are all examples of how we use the word but obvious with somewhat different meanings for each. The strength and depth for each are not the same.

In many instances love is one of those words that cannot fully describe what is meant by the one who voices it. For example, when I tell my wife I love her it does not fully describe my innermost feelings of how I really cherish her. Just to say “I love you” does not include a measure of depth of what I am really trying to say. I want to say that she means so much to me that I would do anything for her even to the point of dying. Just the word love does not say that in human terms even though we want it too. We use the word with good intentions but often it falls short of what we are trying. to say.

In spite of all that has been said in the above discussion concerning the word love, there is another word for love that comes from the original Greek language and has a verb and noun form. Agapao is the verb form of the word and agape is the noun form. This love is very similar to the meanings we have already seen but has a much deeper depth to it. Agape is generally the most often used word for love in the New Testament and  carries with it a deliberate and purposeful action on the part of someone. In other words, it is not and emotional or impulsive action but is intentional in nature. The Bible tells us that love is an attribute of Holy God and goes further to say that God himself is love. 1st John 4:16 (NAS) states “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

God loves us much like a parent loves a child. God’s love for us is such that He made it possible for us to become one of His very own children so that we might have that father-child relationship and live with Him forever. This love is deliberate on His part and was proven by His actions. The Bible verse many people are the most familiar with is John 3:16. As this verse says “God so loved (agape) the world (everyone) that He gave (sacrificed) His only begotten Son (Jesus) that whosever (anyone) believes in Him (Jesus) shall have everlasting life.” Notice that His love resulted in a deliberate action and His action became the gift of salvation to us. The interesting thing is that some people return this love to Him and others choose not to.

This kind of love is what He has demonstrated to us and desires that we have that same love for Him. How then do we show that love for Him? By obedience to His commandments. Remember that agape love is purposeful and not impulsive or emotional. It manifests itself in our actions and our lifestyle. He also expects us to love others as He has loved us. The question again becomes “How?” First by sharing the gospel with others when we have the opportunity and by ministering to our Christian brothers with the gifts and talents that God has given us. Paul describes in 1st Corinthians 13 the nature of the love we are to have for one another and no stone is left unturned. It truly leaves the focus on others rather than ourselves.

We must always remember that God is the source of all our love. As someone else has said, “Loving God and loving other people are so interrelated that we cannot have one without the other.” John wrote in his first epistle the following words as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit: We love because He first loved us. Those who say “I love God” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from Him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sister also. (NRSV, 1st John 4:19-21)

May we all experience the love of God and in turn love Him and our brothers and sisters just as He has commanded. Amen and amen!

Saturday Evening Post – March 19, 2016

Good evening everyone. I hope this finds all of you well and you’ve had a great week. Although a little cooler than what we have been experiencing lately, it has been a beautiful day and it’s obvious spring is here. Becky and I were in Virginia last week on business and we came back home across the Blue Ridge Mountains and north Georgia. The mountains are not showing the signs of spring yet but they will soon.

Speaking of spring, next Sunday is Easter and believers all over the world will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. I believe that His being raised from the dead is the most important event to ever occur throughout all of human history. I realize that His birth and life on earth was necessary for Him to be subjected to all things that we are and still not sin. I also understand that His death on the cross was necessary for our sin debt to be paid in full. But the fact is that if He had not arose then the other events would really have no value. It took His overcoming death to give us eternal life. Thank you Jesus! Thank you Father! Thank you Holy Spirit for your constant reminder that we belong to Him!

I am working on the next word study for the “Wonderful Words of Life” series. The word we will look at next is the word love. This word is so important to every person and especially to us as believers, I hope I will be able to do it justice. We will find that the word can and does mean many things depending on the person and the situation. Obviously it will be my intent to define it from a biblical perspective because it is the basis for our very salvation. I hope to have it ready by next Saturday.

Thanks to all of you for reading the series and I would love to have your input. I want to always be teachable because I understand God can and does use other people to teach me if I remain open to them.

God bless each of you and have a wonderful Lord’s Day!


Definitions of the word joy: 1) the emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune or the prospect of possessing what one desires; the expression or exhibition of such emotion 2) a state of happiness or felicity; 3) a source or cause of delight

Joy is another wonderful word we find in the Bible and it is used in several different contexts. But generally speaking it can be summed up as “the happy state that results from knowing God and serving Him”. The word joy appears somewhere between 150 and 200 times in the Bible depending on the translation a person uses. The Old Testament is full of passages that contain the word or refers to it by using words that are closely related. Both David and Solomon used the word countless times in their writings along with some of the Old Testament prophets. Nehemiah told the Israelites in chapter 8, verse 10 not to worry, because “the joy of the Lord is our strength” and therefore encouraged the people.  David declares one of his most famous statements in the Psalms in chapter 30, verse 5 when he says “weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning”. We could share many scriptures where the word joy is used but it would take many pages and more time than I can spare. So let’s look at the word in a more personal way.

Where does joy come from? Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes 2:26 “For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight.” So, it is obvious that it comes from God. But how can we be good in His sight? The answer to that question has alluded man for centuries and many have tried and failed to provide an acceptable answer. But the truth is there is only one answer. And that is it can only be found by trusting in Jesus and what He did on the cross. His imputed righteousness on us is the only thing that makes us good in God’s eyes. Question answered for all time and eternity.

Joy is something that is planted deep within us and is not something that departs quickly or easily. Just like I have read elsewhere, when we have the joy of the Lord we will know it and those around us will also know we have it. It will show in everything we do and in much of what we say. We should continuously be looking for reasons to be joyful. As a matter of fact we need to remember that joy is also a fruit of the spirit and as the Holy Spirit directs our lives he will make evident the things that bring joy to our lives. However, if we are not abiding in God’s word, talking to Him on a daily basis, fellowshipping with other believers and not trusting Him to provide what we need we will get caught up in this world’s way of living and possibly lose our joy. Just like peace, we need to cherish the joy we have in Him and be forever thankful for both. May we all be able to sing the old song:

I have joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart, down in my heart.

I have that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart to stay.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Good evening everyone. I hope everyone had a great week and are looking forward to being in God’s house tomorrow. i don’t know about you but I am very happy to see the milder temperatures. It sure looks like spring is almost here and I say “Welcome”!

I hope everyone got something out of last week’s review of the word “peace”. I would certainly like to hear from any of you about what that word means to you.

I am working on the next part of  the “Wonderful Words of Life” series and the word I have chosen to discuss is “joy”. It is another wonderful word to the believer but it too is very hard to really describe. I hope to have that chapter finished for next week’s post.

It was 5 years ago today that I had my heart attack. I can still remember waking up after my surgery and seeing some of your faces. It meant so much to me to know that there were friends and brothers concerned and praying for me during that traumatic time in my life. I am so thankful that God allowed me more time to spend with my family and friends and to continue to serve Him. Praise His holy name!

Please pray for my good friend Mr. Bill Gober. Bill’s heart is failing and I understand that he is under hospice care now. Bill was my barber for over 30 years and he has been a friend even since he retired. He was one of the few survivors of the battle for the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War and is an outstanding example of the men and women who have served our country so that we may continue to have the freedoms we have. I salute him!

I hope everyone has a good week and everything remains well with you. God bless!