2016 February 9. Unquenchable Love. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the forty days of Lent leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus the Christ and his Resurrection. Lent is a time to reflect on our own death: that’s what the ashes spread on our foreheads symbolize. As you may know, I’m a student at Redeemer University College. Today, I read the devotion that the chaplain, Deb Roberts, prepared. She gave me permission to share it on my blog. I hope you will be blessed by it as I was. The graphic “The Witness of Fruitful Seasons” is the theme for the academic year.
“… pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love …” 1 Timothy 6:11
It is purely coincidental that this devotional, reflecting on the next object to pursue, love, falls just before February 14th. That of course is the day when sales of chocolates soar and the price of a dozen red roses triples. Occasions like this are lovely and can bring a bit of happiness in the middle of the winter season.
But what is sometimes surprising is that romantic love is often expressed as how someone else makes a person feel. In a conversation I had with a young man a few years ago he remarked that his soon-to-be fiancé was “right for him.” He seemed a bit startled when I asked if he was right for her. “I hadn’t thought about it like that before” he replied.
And perhaps that is what makes the love Paul is encouraging young Timothy to pursue so different from other expressions of love. This is the agape type of love which is always outward giving, always seeking the best for others. That well-known chapter on agape (I Corinthians 13) that Paul wrote does not describe what agape receives, but what it gives.
The Apostle John, drawing upon the example of the love God demonstrated by sending his Son for us, reminds us that agape is neither an emotion that we feel nor a sentiment that we speak but is lived out in how we act and what we do.
Like faith, this love is only available through our relationship with God who is, and the source of, agape. The love that all human beings desire is only truly fulfilled in the love God invites us to seek in him.
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[Used by permission in this blog.]