Love can mean many different things in the English language. However, when we learn about love in the New Testament of the Bible (the section of the Bible describing the time of and after Jesus), the original language is Greek. One of the words for love in Greek is agape. Agape is a sacrificial love that can be described like this:
“Unconditional love that is always giving and impossible to take or be a taker. It devotes total commitment to seek your highest best no matter how anyone may respond. This form of love is totally selfless and does not change whether the love given is returned or not.”*
This type of love usually describes God’s love for us. As a sinner, I know I am beyond thankful for His agape love for me. This is a love I do not deserve but is given to me as a free gift.
Now what makes the school theme this year (in case you forgot, We love because God first loved us, 1 John 4:19) even more meaningful, is that it really means “We agape because God first agape’d us” (Adam’s translation). We can agape. Wait, we can agape? You might be thinking, “To love unconditionally is impossible! Some people are so bad that they do not deserve to be loved. Even if I could, I don’t know if I’d want to give up thinking about myself. My desires need to be taken into consideration.” With our own power, I would agree that loving unconditionally is impossible. That is why this verse points out how we are able to agape–because God first agape’d us. God’s love and salvation changes our hearts.
I praise God for my students this year. After learning about God’s agape love through lessons, worship, and outreach, they decided to receive salvation by repenting of their sins and praying to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior! I say this not for my glory whatsoever but for God’s glory. Once someone receives the gift of salvation, he/she is a new creation. The Holy Spirit is now with each of those students. The Holy Spirit changes their hearts. Now they are able to agape (though they will need some practice).
And it is God’s agape through us that is so desperately needed in this world. Now let’s continue the good work God started in us this past school year and agape with our whole hearts this summer. I can’t wait to hear about the wonderful stories in August of how your agape made the world a better place. God bless you all.