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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We Can Do All Things

When we quote the first half of Philippians 4:13, we usually put the emphasis on our self. We can do all things. We stop there, feeling rather smug with our self and overly confident in our own ability to accomplish great works for God.

We need to quote the verse in its entirety: “I can do everything, which God asks me to do, through the power of Christ in me, who gives me the ability and the strength.”

This verse is actually telling us that apart from Christ, we can do nothing (John 15:5). He is the vine, we are the branches. Apart from the vine, the branch is useless and dies.

A branch bears no fruit apart from the Vine. The Vine gives us the ability and strength to produce only that fruit, which the Vinedresser predispositions us to bear (John 15:1).

God’s perfect plan, orchestrated for each life, yields a beautiful symphony. We do not do works for God, but the works of God, which He called us to do before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:20).

This way we cannot take any credit for our accomplishments nor should we feel as if we are incapable of obeying the Holy Spirit’s direction. Christ is within every authentic Believer, every step of our life (Matthew 28:20).

God’s Spirit directs and supports us in each situation, which life throws our way (Isaiah 41:10; Daniel 3:24-25). We gain our esteem and power from Christ in us (Colossians 1:27).

Prayer:
Father God, we find rest for our soul – our mind, choices and emotions, when we realize that we no longer need to figure everything out and to plan for ever contingency. We rest in the realization that Jesus is our way, truth and life (John 14:6).

As we know You in a deeper relationship, Christ is also our wisdom and strength (Philippians 3:20; 1 Corinthians 1:30). We completely surrender to You and Your direction of our thoughts, words and deeds according to Your perfect will for us (Romans 12:2).

Thought for the Day:
Nothing will occur in our life, which is not already part of God’s plan for us, unless we are reaping the consequences of our disobedience or self-will.

Forgiveness and Boundaries

Human beings tend to suffer in silence. We fear rejection and criticism, so we internalize our thoughts and feelings rather than confiding in one another.

Inner voices, which do not line up with God’s Word, are lies from Satan Himself. The only way to dispel His lies is by speaking God’s truth (Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 4:1).
( http://www.theophostic.com )

Once we receive our forgiveness from God through repentance and faith in exchange for our sins, then God receives us as His own precious children (1 John 3:2).

We have Jesus’ example in order to forgive those who harm us. If they are repentant, we allow them back into our heart. If they refuse to repent, then we forgive them for our sake, but keep them at a distance.

Even though we forgive them, we do not condone their behavior toward us, and we certainly never allow them any opportunities to harm us again.

We derive our self-worth through Christ in us, rather than through our own achievements. This way our esteem does not depend upon people, circumstances or meeting our goals.

It depends on God’s faithfulness and the presence of Christ abiding within us. We are secure in who we are through Christ. We live the life to which He calls us (Ephesians 2:10).

This way too, we have no need to attempt to manipulate and control the behavior of others in order to make our self feel better, safer or more secure.

Prayer:
Father God, people do tend to maliciously use us, but You encourage us to love them with Your agape love and to forgive them and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). However, we can also be wise as snakes and gentle as doves in our dealings with them (Matthew 10:16).

We point them to Your love for them, but we never again allow them to take advantage of us or to use us for their evil gain. Their opinion of us does not matter anymore, because our identity and our good name come from You (Proverbs 22:1; Psalm 52:9).

Thought for the Day:
No one is more deceived than the person who will not admit that he or she is wrong; but we can forgive them anyway and erect boundaries to keep them from harming us again.