Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. —1 John 4:7-8
God's response to our work of faith is His release of His life into us—overcoming, world-creating, death-defying love. The Greeks call it agape love, distinguishing it from philos (brotherly) love, storge (family) love, and eros (carnal) love.
Agape, God's love, is unconditional love with no strings attached. The Thessalonians labored in service to the true and living God, and His love was their inspiration (1 Thessalonians 1:3,9). Agape loves even when the one loved does not return love. Agape loves even when the circumstances or situations around us tell us to hate or respond with revenge.
His love is the life within us that drives us to do what we do. We do not witness because of some legalistic jargon written hundreds of years ago. We witness because we are in love with a Savior who died for us and made us alive. We labor because His life is being expressed through us. That love constrains us and becomes the inspiration of our labor also.
Jesus, You alone are the source of my love.
I love not because I must but because You
first loved me. Thank You for loving me
even before I ever knew You. Amen.
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