Summary: Love one another unconditionally
Agape One Another
If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.
If God had a wallet, your photo would be in it.
God sends you flowers every spring, and a sunrise every morning.
Whenever you want to talk, God will listen.
God could live anywhere in the universe, but chose your heart.
What about the gift God sent you in Bethlehem; not to mention that day at Calvary?
Face it! God is crazy about you.
God answers Knee Mail.
In English we “love” many things
We love our neighbors
We love our enemies
We love our children, and our pets
We love spaghetti and steak
We love our vehicles
We love to dance
We love to drink coffee early in the morning
And, we can go on and on
This can confuse us when we think about the New Testament
In the Greek, there are three words that are all translated “love”
Eros = physical love = erotic
Philae = love for a brother = Philadelphia = City of Brotherly Love
Agape = unconditional love = God-kind of love
In this passage, Jesus uses various forms of the Greek word “Agape”
Let us read the passage again, using the Greek word, Agape, for the English word love
That sounded foreign to us
Let us change the word Agape for the translation “unconditional love”
“As the Father has loved me unconditionally, I also have loved you unconditionally. Abide in my unconditional love.”
“If you keep my commandments you will abide in my unconditional love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His unconditional love.”
“This is my commandment, that you love one another unconditionally just as I have loved you unconditionally”
“These things I command you, that you love one another unconditionally”
Wow! That makes it pretty clear
We are commanded to love each other unconditionally
He says, “You are my friends when you do what I have commanded you to do”
And he commands us to love each other unconditionally
Unconditionally . . .
Most of us do not even love our spouses of many years unconditionally
As a counselor, I see that a lot
I cannot love him/her because they drop their dirty clothes on the floor
Or cannot cook
Or will not wash dishes
Or some equally inane problem
Admittedly, some problems go well beyond these
Adultery, drugs, abuse, etc
Those are subjects for another time
The major problems aside, when we go into a marriage, job, relationship, team, church, etc. with conditions to be met before love can be given
We are not obeying the Master’s commandment to love each other without conditions or unconditionally
Does not mean that you cannot discuss, communicate and express your desires or opinions
Neither does it mean you have to be “best friends” or hang out with folks that have differences in attitude or personalities
But, you cannot hate, hurt people just because they are different
Most of you have loved us unconditionally
In the Methodist church we respect our pastors
Whether past, present or the next one
I urge and beg you to love your pastor and their family unconditionally
Do not compare them to any other
Like any of us, they will have different characteristics than anyone else