The Truth about Love

There are three common types of love. Each one is distinctly different, but we can feel all of them at one time – for one person or many people. EROS is passionate physical love. It includes sensual desires and longing.

Relationships built only on Eros usually end when sexual passion wanes. That is why people have affairs or casual physical relationships. Therefore, marriage needs more than Eros to survive.

PHILIA means friendship and connotes affectionate love between friends and family. It displays dispassionate camaraderie. Philia includes loyalty to friends, family and community. It exhibits Godly virtue, impartiality and delight.

Philia denotes a friendly type of affection between family and friends. It is a desire for companionship and enjoying activities with each other. Having a friendship with the people in your life and enjoying time to play, pray and share in common pursuits is vital in any relationship.

AGAPE means unconditional love. It refers to a deep sense of God’s pure, holy love. Instead of the sexual attraction of Eros or the deep affection of Philia, Agape is sacrificial.

Agape provides us with the feeling of contentment and satisfaction as we put each other first and highly esteem one another as better than our self (Philippians 2:3-4). True love takes effort and is not dependent on the other person.

Christ lives in us and is love personified. Regardless of how someone treats us, we love them with God’s love within us. It is not how we feel, but what we do to express God’s love to one another.

This does not mean that we do not honestly communicate to others how their behavior makes us feel; but we never give up on the relationship. We may have to establish boundaries, but we keep the relationship active.

Love is not what we expect from others, but what we provide for those in our life whom we care about. We are called to love one another, just as Christ loves us. Sometimes, that is a tall order to fill.

Prayer:
Father God, help us to display love to our parents, spouse, children, church family and even strangers regardless of how they treat us. This is only possible as we submit to Your will for our life and allow Your Spirit to reprogram our thinking to have the mind of Christ. Remind us that once we have this spiritual love, then the physical and the emotional feelings will follow after it.

Cause us to submit our self to You and to resist the devil. Then he must flee from us (James 4:7). His destructive suggestions that putting our self first, estrangement and divorce are not wrong, and that You want us to be happy, will vanish with his departure. Remind us that You want us to be holy. Help us to develop Agape love for others as we focus on submitting our self to You.

Thought for the Day:
Most people realize that we are far from loving one another with true self-sacrificing, lasting and sincere love; Eros and Philia come and go throughout the years, and they are never intense for long periods of time, but Agape lasts forever.

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Depending Only on God

Sometimes, we feel invisible, as if God does not see us or hear our prayers (Isaiah 40:27). We think that He has forgotten us, because our circumstances are out of control and we need His intervention. Yet, He still tarries. Life is not limited to our time on this earth. We do not need to “get ahead” during this lifetime. God honors those who honor Him and despises those who dishonor Him (1 Samuel 2:30).

Our tendency in a trial is to work it out in our own efforts. However, we usually end up making things worse. We are broken, even if we will not admit it, and God calls us to lean on Him (2 Kings 18:21; Isaiah 36:6). God looks for those who are living by faith in Him. Even the atheists live by faith in something. However, our trust in God is the only faith, which produces eternal results.

If we put our trust in our self, or in other people, we are depending on the flesh rather than on the Lord. We end up worn out, devastated, poor and lonely. However, if we trust in the Lord, He blesses us wondrously (Habakkuk 2:4; Proverbs 29:25). We are rooted and secure. We flourish and are prepared for life’s trials. We have no worries, so we thrive and bear God’s fruit in our life (Jeremiah 17:5-8; Galatians 5:22-23).

We can relax and live in God’s peace, entering His rest, even in the worst of circumstances. He always works out everything for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). Trials are opportunities for God to prove His love for us. If we view them through His eyes, we will see His mighty hand in the midst of them (Psalm 136:12; 1 Peter 5:6).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us not to rely on our human strength or the wisdom of friends, but to follow Your Spirit’s leading in every area of our life (Zechariah 4:6). When our activities are inspired by Your Spirit, we see Kingdom results. We depend solely on You for our life and our future. Bring our flesh into submission to Your will.

Thought for the Day:
When we depend on God alone, we put our faith in His faithfulness; since He is our trustworthy defender, we shall never suffer ultimate defeat. – Psalm 62:5-12

Authentic Devotion

God calls us to a place of authentic devotion. He desires worshippers who sincerely come to Him through His spirit (John 4:24). He honors those who love Him by keeping His Word (John 14:15). He always provides a way to escape temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). God promises that, as we humble our self before Him and resist temptation, Satan will have to flee from us (James 4:7-8). We abandon our heavy burden of self-imposed labor; and, instead, enter into God’s rest (Matthew 11:28; Hebrews 4:10).

God is always faithful and He keeps His promises (1 Thessalonians 5:24). We have no need to waiver in our faith, because He is worthy of our trust. He desires nothing less than our whole-hearted devotion to Him in every area of our life. God does not wink at sin; He is appalled by it. He cannot look upon, nor dwell where sin resides (Psalm 5:4). We grieve the Holy Spirit with every compromise we make in our life (Ephesians 4:30-31). Therefore, do not break God’s heart by sinning.

In our modern society, we spend more time serving God on our own terms, than in obeying God’s direction. We rely more on our self-effort than on God’s strength within us. We also grieve Him when we plan our life to the minute and have no time for fellowship with other Believers or even reserve a few moments for Him in daily devotion. We frantically pray for God’s blessing on our plans as we rush from one event to another throughout the day.

Instead, God wants us to yoke up with His Spirit and do only those works, which He prepared for us before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10). In this way, we find rest for our mind and heart, which are wearied by the demands of the world (Matthew 11:28; Hebrews 4:10). It is only as we return to the center of God’s will that we find complete rest. In this place of quiet confidence, we find our strength (Isaiah 30:15). He is always present to help the humble that depend only on Him (Isaiah 5 7:15).

Prayer:
Father God, You love us with Your everlasting love and draw us with Your kindness (Jeremiah 31:3). You offer us a place of repose, a resting place for the weary to find solace (Isaiah 28:12). The righteousness of Christ in us offers us peace and brings with it the quiet confidence we need to face the issues of life (Isaiah 32:17). Therefore, we walk in the Spirit, so that our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – can find rest in the Lord, who is always good to us (Psalm 116:7).

Thought for the Day:
We remain calm and do not lose heart, when we circumspectly walk by the direction of God’s Spirit. – Isaiah 7:4; Ephesians 5:15-20