I once took a Bible study course called The Way of Agape, based on the book by Mrs. Nancy Missler. Learning the definition of agape of in I Corinthians 13 caught me up short on the difference between God's love and human love.We are told in Isa. 55:8 "For My thoughts [are] not your thoughts, Nor [are] your ways My ways," says the LORD.
How I could meditate on that one verse for a lifetime, especially in regard to God's agape love versus my own human love. My human love, oh how it falls so very short of God's kind of love.
The very best human love is no match for God's love. If you really want to know what God's love is like you need look no further than Jesus. Sometimes, when we do something nice, we may be tempted to think that we have pleased God because of that. But if we are not fulfilling I Corinthians 13 perfectly, then we need the rightousness of Another. Thank God there is One who did fulfill it perfectly on our behalf, and offers His own righteousness as a free gift. (II Corinthians 5: 21)
Now we are in the supposed "season of good cheer." It saddens me though as I see the twinkle of lights, the glitter, the rush in finding the perfect present. Is this the way to find and give agape love? It always reminds me of a kind of desperation. The days of December on my part of the planet are short, gloomy and dark. Men seem to try to comfort themselves in the giving of gifts, feasting and decorating.
Is that what its all about? Or is agape about the Kenosis of the Savior?
Consider Philippians 2: 3-11:
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men, 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of a cross.
9 Therefore God has highly exalted HIM and given HIM the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of JESUS every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father.
In verse 6 of Philippians 2 we hear of the kenosis of Christ, which comes from the root word kenoo (#2756). From the Blue Letter Bible study helps, we see that the Strong's definition of this word means to:
1) to empty, make empty
a) of Christ, he laid aside equality with or the form of God
That is our example, our role model. He didn't think about Himself. Ahhh, so very much unlike me, whose first thought is for her own comfort.
As He lay in the manger, He was holding the molecules together that kept the universe in existence, yet He chose to limit Himself to being a baby. He chose to feel the things we feel: hunger, pain, betrayal, loneliness, all the sufferings of being a human on this tiny planet spinning in the universe. He had to leave the adoration of all the angels and the love of His Father, and He chose to do so, for our sakes, willingly.
His thoughts are not our thoughts. His love is not human love. Oh, to know Him (Phil. 3:10) and to show that kind of love to others. My life is in vain if that is not my daily aspiration.
In John 6: 67, it says:"Then Jesus said to the twelve,"Do you also want to go away?'"
68 But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go, You have the words of eternal life."
He alone has the words of eternal life. As we take in His Words and make them a part of us, may His thoughts become our thoughts, so that out of our hearts shall flow
rivers of living water. (John 7: 38)
It is so very right to sing: "Oh, come let us adore HIM!"