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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Struggling to Survive

At the root of sin and degradation is pride and rebellion. These often stem from unresolved conflicts in our past. We hide our pain behind a veneer of self-reliance in order to avoid further injury.

We do not want to take a chance on being vulnerable again. Struggling to survive, we choose self-absorption and arrogance instead of living a life of humility and self-sacrifice.

We live within the parameters of our sinful nature and set our mind on what our flesh desires (Romans 8:5). Our spirit is dead in sin and we cannot help our self (Ephesians 2:1).

Even church attendees who claim Christ as their savior play along with worldly culture, advice and popular demands. They came under conviction at one point, but their life was never converted.

Political correctness, religious pluralism, humanism and other new age lies color our concept of holiness. We take the path of least resistance and follow the crowd.

We lack discernment, spiritual understanding and perception. Caving in to the struggles, strain and stress of everyday life, we turn away from Biblical wisdom, God’s love and devotion.

Jesus is the perfect example of a humble, yet powerful life. He said that no one could take His life until He was ready to lay it down (John 10:18). By following Jesus’ example we truly convert from hedonism to holiness.

Jesus illustrates for us that the Lord is our portion, provider and protector as we obey His Word. We seek His face with our whole heart and God is gracious to us according to His promises (Psalm 119:57-58).

Prayer:
Father God, we invite Your Holy Spirit to cleanse our thoughts, heal our memory, calm our fears, and direct our goals and plans. We trust that in our pain and suffering, You are working out Your will and purpose for our life, giving us opportunities to share Your love and to bear fruit for Your Kingdom.

Teach us discernment through our life experiences; heal our raw emotions of discontentment, loneliness and anxiety; give us hope to overcome anger, unforgiveness and bitterness; and help us to walk in Your will with faith for each moment of our day.

Thought for the Day:
The Holy Spirit wants to direct the details of our day, so let’s step aside, stop obsessing and trust and obey; there is no better way to enjoy the joy of the Lord.

Renewing Our Mind

Paul admonishes us not to conform our thoughts, words and action to this world, but to allow the Holy Spirit to transform us and to renew our mind (Romans 12:2).

We feel remorse for our ungodly thoughts and behavior, repent of them as sin, and submit to God’s Spirit as He renovates us into the fruitful character and divine nature of Christ (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4).

Satan uses the enticements of the world to distract us from our commitment to God. He lures us away through the lusts of our eyes and flesh, as well as our pride in our accomplishments (1 John 2:16).

When these temptations stop working on us, then the devil uses worthy responsibilities, as well as the expectations of others to sidetrack us to use our time for good things rather than to devote our time to God’s will for us.

If we say “No”, we may disappoint someone else, but we please our Lord and God. When we boldly choose to focus on God’s will, we submit to His Spirit as He renews our mind and directs our steps (Ephesians 4:23, 5:26; Proverbs 3:5-6).

As we regularly ingest God’s Word, we sorrow over our sin to the point of repentance, which helps us to walk in the good, acceptable and perfect will of God (2 Corinthians 7:9; Romans 12:2).

Our former Adamic nature dies and our soul is reprogrammed by Christ and His Spirit in us, as well as the life and light of scripture, which sharply divides our soul and spirit (Colossians 3:3; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 4:12).

Prayer:
Father God, life gives us choices, on a daily basis, to either walk in Your Spirit or to succumb to the devil and our flesh. Thank You for convicting us when we walk on the path of destruction and for helping us to find our way back to Your true and righteous path for our life.

Help us to live according to Your ways and to cherish Your love throughout our life. We want to serve You with our whole being and to love You with our whole heart by Your Spirit, whom You graciously provided for us. We give You all of the praise and glory for the many benefits, which You shower on us with each moment of our life.

Thought for the Day:
In repentance, we find freedom from sin; and by reading God’s Word and hiding it in our heart, we renew our mind and walk in righteousness, peace and joy, which His Holy Spirit births in our soul and spirit. – Romans 14:17; Psalm 119:11;

Identity Crisis

If a child does not receive the fulfillment of his/her legitimate human needs, they will look for people in their adulthood to meet them. Belonging, significance, acceptance, identity and security are the major psychological and emotional necessities in every human soul.

Our emotionally wounded parents were unable to provide these for us. As adults, we search in vain for our perfect soulmate, who has the limitless resources to make up for the deprivation from our past. In search of our fulfillment, we get too involved in earthly pursuits and change partners too often.

Those we reject suffer deep emotional scars, which are almost impossible to heal. As individuals, we attempt to perfect our personality and performance in order to find our personal worth through our human qualities, talents, intelligence, and physical assets.

The problem is that no one is capable of perfection. The key to our fulfillment on this earth is to realize that our true personal worth comes from our relationship with our supreme God and Father (Philippians 4:19). Only He provides us with a secure sense of belonging. We can trust Him and have no fear of His rejecting us for any reason.

If we cling to our deficiencies, rather than surrendering it all to God, we erect an idol, which we continue to “worship”. We allow Satan and our flesh to deceive us, which continues to cripple us. However, when we completely surrender all of our needs to God, He will meet them in His way and timing.

Prayer:
Father God, our freedom comes only as we surrender every aspect of our life to You. As long as we focus on what we lack, we continue to worship idols. Once we take our mind off our needs, and put it on worshipping and serving you, we suddenly discover that we are living a very fulfilling life. Remind us to commit our life to You, because then Jesus heals us and we are totally set free from emotional and psychological hindrances (John 8:32; Psalm 37:5). We enjoy mental, emotional and spiritual freedom, which only comes by learning to find our contentment in You (Philippians 4:11-13).

Thought for the Day:
In truth, complete fulfillment only comes when Christ is our whole life. – Colossians 3:4