How do you love? Who do you love? What form of love do you experience? What form of love do you exhibit? Do you realize there are different forms of love? Many in this world do not realize nor recognize the different forms of love.
The two most common forms of love in the New Testament are the Greek words phileo and agapao. Phileomeans to have affection to another. We might think of this as a person being in love with someone else. It is also used to refer to the relationship among friends or to love things.
Agapao is a verb. Yes, that means action is to take place. It is used to describe the Father’s love for Jesus, Jesus’ love for us, our love for God, and our love for other people. It is demonstrated through our actions to serve others. It is often described as unconditional, which means we love the person, even if we don’t like their actions.
We often see young people fall in love. This is the affectionate love. They will decide to get married and will live off of affection for a while. But if their love doesn’t transition to action love, their marriage won’t last. I suppose this is why Jesus uses the verb for love more than He uses affectionate love.
Jesus uses agapao love anytime He is speaking about loving God, loving Him, or loving others. Why is this important? He is telling us that we cannot simply say we love someone and do nothing. That would not be following His commands. That would be following other emotions, rather than following Jesus.
This brings up an important point and reminds me of a song from several years ago by Reba. The song is titled “The Greatest Man I Never Knew.” In the song, Reba describes her Dad. He rarely, if ever, says “I love you.” Yet she knew her Dad loved her more than words could say by the actions he took to support her.
God does that for us as well. Sure, He has told us He loves us in His Word—His Word being Jesus Christ, who tells us explicitly that He loves us. Yet, we don’t hear God speak to us on a daily basis and often forget that He loves us. To see that He loves us, we simply need to look at all the things He has done and is doing for us.
I pray we all respond to the command to love others with actions. I pray each of us will show our love for God through our actions. I pray we love as Jesus loved. Show others you love them, don’t just say it. Show God you love Him, don’t just say it. Be a loving person through your actions and your words.
John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”