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FGHT Devotions

Love Talk

Since love is a simple little four-letter word, you’d think that its definition should be easy.  Most of us also feel that we understand the term.  But, one of the problems that we have is that this one word has several different definitions.  The Bible talks about or alludes to four types of love.  They are eros, storge, philia or phileo, and agape.  Let’s examine each of these types of love.

Agape Love – Agape love is God’s kind of love. It is a love that is demonstrated by action, and it is based upon obedience to God.  Another word for Agape love is charity, as discussed in 1 Corinthians 13.  True agape love is putting the needs of another ahead of our own needs.  Agape love is a decision to love another, in spite of what one’s gain or feelings might be.  An example, of course, was Jesus’ decision to obey His Father when He asked that Jesus would come into a sin-cursed world and die for our sins.  Jesus knew the humiliation, the pain, and the momentary separation from His Father that He would experience.  But, because He had agape love for you and me, and because He was obedient to His Father, He did it anyway.  Jesus, in Matt. 26:39 prayed: “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt”. 

John 3:16 says:  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

True agape love should be the foundation of each of the other three types of love.

Eros Love refers to physical passion, gratification, and fulfillment.  It is inferred in many scriptures and is the only kind of love that God restricts to the bounds of a God-approved marriage.  Hebrews 13:4 refers to this type of love.

4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

Storge Love– Storge love is family love, the instinctual bond among mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers.  It is the natural love among kin.  It is the type of love that is referred to when we use the expression “blood is thicker than water.”  This is the type of love that God stirred in my heart after I was filled with the Holy Ghost.  It was storge love that sent me on a quest to get my family saved.  True storge love is enhanced by agape love, for once you know who Christ is, you want to assure that the family that God gave you also knows Him.

An example of storge love in action shines brightly in the following case:

Immediately after I got saved, I called my sister and best friend.  I told her about how God had saved me and that I was learning to live for the Lord.  I told her that I was learning how to get the victory over sin and shame.  When she saw how God had blessed me and changed me, she wanted to come to my church in Dallas and learn more about this Holy Ghost. Needless to say, God saved and baptized her with the Holy Ghost, too.  She is now a Prophetess and a Missionary, carrying the Gospel of Deliverance.

When Daniel, in Daniel 9:4-19, sought the face of God for his people, he was demonstrating storge love.  He said in Dan 9:19: O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

Phileo or Philea Love means close brotherly love or the love that one has for a friend.   Christians are frequently urged to love their fellow Christians.  Phileo love is a love of the affections. It is that warm feeling that one has when he is in the presence of another.   It is the type of love that you have for a best friend.  The Bible frequently tells us that we are to share this type of love in the church.  1John 4:20-21:

20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also

The fantastic thing that happens when we undergird philia love with agape love is that we are changed.  That dreaded mother-in-law will become sweet in our eyes.  That “sorry bum of a husband” will suddenly have positive virtues.  The “nosy neighbor” can be seen as a concerned and watchful citizen.  Let’s allow God’s love to shine through all that we are and what we do. 

Let us pray:  Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me when I was unlovable.  Thank you for teaching me to love others as I should.  My heart desires to be more like Jesus every day and to exemplify the love that He displayed in His obedience to Your holy mandate.  You gave Your only begotten Son, and Jesus gave His life for me.  I will love You both forever.  Amen.