Jesus is not your boyfriend. He is God and the our Lord. To understand what it means to love Jesus, we must first define what is meant by the word love. Since we are discussing Jesus, we will limit our definitions to the two primary Greek words used for “love” in the New Testament. The first is philia. This refers to a brotherly love or to a close association with another person. To demonstrate this type of love would not require any substantial sacrifice on the part of the lover. This love is shown through a cordial attitude and an allotment of time. Anyone from a mild acquaintance to a close colleague can be loved with philia. This type of love will easily fade, however, if the loved one moves away or is not often encountered. Thus, this is not the type of love that would be adequate for the kind of love Jesus wants from His followers.
The other Greek word for “love” is agape. This is love that is considered unconditional. This is the love that Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 13 and is most appropriate for understanding what it means to love Jesus. Paul explains this type of love by what it does and what it does not do. According to 1 Corinthians 13:4–8, agape is patient, kind, rejoicing with truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping in all things, and enduring through all things. In contrast, agape does not envy, boast, or rejoice in wrongdoing; it is not arrogant, rude, selfish, irritable, or resentful. Most importantly, agape does not end. It will not fade away like philia. Agape is not based on circumstances and will never end.
To love the Lord is to follow Him wherever He leads, to obey Him whatever He asks, and to trust Him whatever the trial. To love Jesus is to reflect the love that God has for us, for “this is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son” (1 John 4:10). To love the Lord is to care for the ones He loves (1 John 4:19; see also John 21:16).
Agape is not based on emotion but on the will. Each characteristic of agape is a deliberate choice to act in a certain manner. Thus, when Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15), He was teaching that loving Him would be a demonstrable action, not an emotional feeling. If Jesus is to be loved as He commanded, then a conscious choice must be made to act according to the pattern described in 1 Corinthians 13. Jesus was clear that loving Him is a service (John 14:15, 21, 23, 28) and that disobedience is evidence of a lack of love (John 14:24). Therefore, to love Jesus is to willfully act in such a way that our devotion to Him is proved through our actions toward Him and our obedience of Him. The kind of love you would have for a man is “eros” love. That is a romantic love. The kind of love that you would have for your husband. First and foremost you should pick a Christian. We don’t love our husband/wife the way that we love Jesus. It is a totally different kind of love. I hope this helps you. God bless you!!! :):)
How is that a friendship if you can’t share Jesus the most important part of your life with them? Seems one sided to me. You can be nice but I wouldn’t have them or any unbeliever in your inner circle of friends. As Christians, we have to constantly face temptations and the attacks of the world around us. Everything we see, read, do, hear, put in our bodies, etc., affects us somehow. That’s why, to maintain a close relationship with God, we have to put aside our old ways of doing things—the things we watch on TV, old bad habits (excessive drinking, smoking, etc.), the activities we participate in, and the people we spend our time with. People are divided into only two categories, those who belong to the world and its ruler, Satan, and those who belong to God (Acts 26:18). These two groups of people are described in terms of opposites all through the Bible; e.g., those in darkness/those in the light; those with eternal life/those with eternal death; those who have peace with God/those who are at war with Him; those who believe the truth/those who believe the lies; those on the narrow path to salvation/those on the broad road to destruction, and many more. Clearly, the message of Scripture is that believers are completely different from nonbelievers, and it is from this perspective that we must discern what kind of friendships we can really have with unbelievers.
The book of Proverbs has a few wise verses on believers befriending non-believers: “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray” (12:26). We should stay away from foolish people (13:20, 14:7), from people who lose their temper easily (22:24), and from the rebellious (24:21). All these things represent those who have not been saved. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). First Corinthians 15:33 tells us that bad company corrupts good character. Unbelievers are slaves to sin (John 8:34), and Christians are slaves to God (1 Corinthians 7:22). If we become deeply involved (either by friendship or a romantic relationship) with non-Christians, we are setting ourselves up for turmoil. It can (and does often) cause the Christian to stumble in his walk, fall back into a sinful life, and also turn others away from God (by misrepresenting God and Christianity). Another detrimental effect of closeness with unbelievers is our tendency to water down the truths of Scripture so as to not offend them. There are difficult truths in the Word of God, truths such as judgment and hell. When we minimize or ignore these doctrines or try to “soft pedal” them, in essence we are calling God a liar for the sake of those already in the grasp of Satan. This is not evangelism.
Although these close relationships are not recommended, it does not mean we turn our noses up and ignore unbelievers, either. Second Timothy 2:24-26 tells us that as servants of the Lord, we are to be kind to and not quarrel with anyone. We should gently teach those who oppose the truth, and be patient with difficult people. Matthew 5:16 tells us, “Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly father.” We should serve unbelievers so that they may see God through us and turn to Him in praise. James 5:16 says that there is great power in the prayer of a righteous person, so bring your concerns for unbelievers before God, and He will listen.
Many people have been saved because of the prayers and service of Christians, so don’t turn your back on unbelievers, but having any kind of intimate relationship with an unbeliever can quickly and easily turn into something that is a hindrance to your walk with Christ. We are called to evangelize the lost, not be intimate with them. There is nothing wrong with building quality friendships with unbelievers – but the primary focus of such a relationship should be to win them to Christ by sharing the Gospel with them and demonstrating God’s saving power in our own lives. God bless you!!! :):)
I was listening to one of the pastors speak about relationships and it really made an impact on my life and I started to think how can I put the three “R’s” of a great relationship into play in my own life. We all have relationships with other people; some of them are great, some of them aren’t so great…and some of them are downright bad. And a lesson to be learned is “Be careful how you handle your relationships.” Though they’re precious, they can be very fragile. One incident, one word spoken in wrath or anger, one action, can sever a relationship. And the consequences can last for years, or even a lifetime.
God gave us two ears and one mouth. I wish we would function in that equation—listening twice as much as we talk. We have to think through what this action or these harsh words will do to the relationship in the long run. Sometimes it can be really difficult to do at least in my life. When I get angry my mouth goes off before my ears have a chance to process everything they heard and I can say some things that are very hurtful to other people. This is something that the Lord has been working with me on. Growth is never easy but it is so worth it when we His work accomplished in our heart and lives.
So what are the three “R’s” of good relationships that pastor was talking about?
1. Repentance: Humble yourself and repent for what you have done wrong in your relationship.
2. Responsibility: Take responsibility for your part of the mess that has been made.
3. Results: Repent of the wrong that was done, take responsibility for your part in it, and you’ll see results.
How do you get the other person to go along with your three “R’s”? You can’t. You can only do your part. We are only responsible for our own actions and not what the other person says or does. The hard part is if you withhold forgiveness and something bad happens and you are never ever able to make it right. That can be a really hard thing to live with. That is why I like what the Bible tells us: To never let the sun go down on your anger. For anger gives a foothold to the devil Ephesians 4:26-27.
I am so glad the weekend is finally here! I hope that you all have a Simply Heavenly Friday and enjoy your weekend!!!
By Kathleen Hardaway
Author and Precept Ministries Staffer
I will never forget the night that I cried so hard I wondered if I was ever going to stop. All I can remember was finally going to bed and crying myself to sleep. My friend, have you ever had a broken heart? Has the pain been so deep you thought you just wanted to die?
Hurt and pain can come in many different forms, but those that come from a broken heart seem to hurt us the most. There can be deep disappointment when relationships don’t work out.
Is it possible to date and not get hurt? Certainly. Is there anything you can do to help prevent heartbreak? Yes. There are lots of things that you can do to help. However, you are never excluded from heartbreak if you give your heart to someone. The deeper the relationship, the greater the potential for pain or joy.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where many date with reckless abandonment. Godly integrity is often not a part of dating, and enormous consequences and heartbreak are inevitable. If there was ever a time we need some basic guidelines in dating, it’s today. If our television sitcoms have become our standard, we’re in deep trouble.
Following a few basic truths from God’s Word is the answer to preventing much heartbreak. Whom should you date? Whom should you court? Whom should you spend time with? There is absolutely one essential key in the area of dating. If you’re a believer, then you must date a Christian.
God says in His Word, “Do not be unequally yoked.” Since dating often times leads to marriage, you don’t ever want to get involved with an unbeliever. Plus, “Bad company corrupts good morals.” You may think that you’re just having fun and you never intend to marry the person you’re dating. I have known people who began dating someone just for fun and ended up marrying them. With deep regret they admit they made a huge mistake. Watch whom you spend time with.
The key to a good marriage is respect; therefore, one of the biggest goals in dating should be respect. If you don’t respect whom you’re dating, and if they do not respect you, stop the relationship now!
Often I hear a woman tell me that the man does not respect her, and he pushes her too far in the area of sex. This is an age-old problem that continues to break the hearts of countless women. How do you guard your heart? One way is by “Fleeing youthful lusts.” If you play with fire, you will get burned.
As a Christian, you must have a passion for purity. If you truly have a passion for God, then you should have a passion for purity. Much can be said on this subject, but the key is holiness. The Bible is very clear: “Be ye holy for I am holy.” This should affect what you watch, what you read, how you dress, and certainly whom you’re spending time with.
Getting to know the opposite sex does not necessarily mean telling all of your past. We have often been fooled into thinking that an intimate relationship cannot happen without pouring out our hearts about our past. Be very careful about this. If a relationship does not work out, you may be sorry later for what you’ve said.
If you’re pure in your dating relationships, you are less likely to experience as much heartbreak. Always pray about every friendship that you have. Ask God to show you the direction a relationship should go. Treat them as you would like to be treated.
Keep your relationships pure. Keep your relationships simple. Keep relationships held with an open hand. Ask the Lord to use you to be one who is pointing all your friends to the Lord. Be honest with yourself, and certainly be honest with whom you’re dating. If the person you’re spending time with is trying to fool you into thinking he is a Christian, but he is just trying to steal your heart, ask the Lord to show you who he really is.
A lady shared with me her deep hurt after rushing into marriage. “Please tell anyone who is single to not be blinded into thinking the person they’re dating is a godly person if they’re not. I married my husband much too soon. I thought he was a believer, and I know now I was very deceived. It’s much better to be single than to be in a wrong marriage.”
Is it possible to avoid a broken heart? There is no guarantee. But there are ways to prevent the hurt from devastating your life. In all your relationships walk in a godly manner that is pleasing to the Lord. Yes, my heart has been broken many times, but, praise God, He has been faithful. As I reflect on the past, I am so grateful for relationships that did not work out, because I was headed toward a wrong marriage.
My friend, wait on the Lord. Trust the Lord. Always put your hope, your joy, and your dreams in Christ. When He is first, then, single or married, you will have a peace that no person or thing can take way.