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Jun 14 2013

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Can We Have A Temperament of Love?

As we approach Father’s Day, let’s think about our Heavenly Father’s love for us.  There is a Greek word, agape, which is used in the New Testament to describe our Father’s love.  This love is an unconditional love.  It flows from God to us, even though we don’t deserve it.  We cannot earn it.

Besides receiving the Father’s love when we invite Jesus Christ to come into our lives to take over, we also need to live with His love flowing out of us.  One of the contributors to our blog shares some thoughts about how we can become a person who lets agape love shine out of us to others.

God’s Way of Providing the Temperament We Need

by John Rataczak

Christians often wonder how they can serve the Lord in this present evil world. After all, Satan does not exactly make the task of ministry easy! The world’s attitudes are also a major stumbling block. Sometimes it seems that we are totally unequipped to do what we believe God has called us to do!

First, let’s take a look at the first fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22: the fruit of the Spirit is love.

This, of course, is the agape love which is so often mentioned in Scripture and in the sermons we hear in our churches. Notice that this verse does not say, “The fruit of the Spirit may be love”; or “The fruit of the Spirit sometimes is love.” It is simply a fact that the Holy Spirit produces love in the life of a believer!

Some might question this notion, but consider these verses: “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren” (I John 3:14); and “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5). Sometimes we quench the working of the Spirit and this agape love does not flow out to God and others as it should.  But we can never Biblically say that we do not have love in our hearts if we are saved!

This agape love is crucial to our functioning in this world. In fact, without it, even saying great things, preaching and understanding great truths, manifesting great faith, and even showing generosity and offering our lives—all these things are worthless without agape love (see I Corinthians 13:1-3)!

And it is this very love that the Holy Spirit produces in our lives! God wants us to be successful in serving Him, even though the task is at times very daunting; and He does provide us with the right kind of temperament we need in His amazing agape love!

The question, then, is not whether we have enough love (He does provide it in abundance) to serve Him; the real question is this: will we allow His love to dominate our thinking, our relationships, our decisions, and every aspect of our lives? God would never insist that we be like our Savior if He didn’t equip us with the temperament to live that way!

 

These thoughts are from John Rataczak, Ph.D. He is the author of three Christian books: “The Ramifications of Our Salvation”; “Bible Translations: A Closer Look”; and “Spiritual Gifts Verse by Verse: A Commentary on I Corinthians 12-14.” Website: http://www.eleutherosbooks.com

John Ratacak

John Rataczak

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