Love Requires Action

even-smaller-bug-light18 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. — James 1:8, 9​ NIV

​The Greek word translated as love here in James is “agape” or “agapao”. It is a word that describes the very nature or essence of God.  “God is Love”.  It is not an emotion and it is not based on feelings or the other person’s actions. It is a fact, plain and simple. There is nothing we did or can do to cause God to love us more or less than He does. It was agape that required God to send His Son to save us. It is the kind of love that we strive to show but rarely, if ever, are humans able to reach that level of love. Nevertheless, our goal is or should be to get as close as we can to doing so.  Just as agape required God to give His only Son to demonstrate that kind of love, it requires us to give of our time, energy and resources in an attempt to show others the love that Jesus had for us. We must show it to everyone equally without showing favoritism. “To love your neighbor as yourself” means that we must be willing to do everything for our neighbor that we would do for ourselves. Agape is not passive, it requires action(s) on our part.  It does not require the one receiving the agape to do anything to deserve it.  We certainly could not and did not do anything to deserve what God and His Son Jesus did for us.  Our efforts to show agape to others is how we accomplish the good works that accompany our faith. It is also how we can do what Jesus said to us:

11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. — John 14:11, 12 NIV

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