Do You Love God?


After you ask Jesus into your heart a question still remains, are you willing to have “Agape” love for God or “Phileo” love? Are you willing for your life to be transformed and make a difference in others, or are you going to sit on the sidelines and just be comfortable?

Agape Love: Agape is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. It portrays a willing heart to be obedient to God, even if it inconveniences you, or is hard for you. It is Christ emanating His love through you because He is love.

Phileo Love: To have deep affection for; you respect God and what He stands for, but that is as far as it goes. Your relationship with God is clearly one on one. You don’t want to impose your beliefs on anybody else.

Wholehearted or Semi-Devotion?

Two forms of love; two different playing fields. One is wholehearted obedience the other is appreciating what God did for you, but not willing to step outside of your comfort zone. I don’t know if it is possible to have both forms of love, but for me it seems like it depends on the day. Some days I am so on target, I know exactly what God is asking of me, and I am actually obedient. It feels great. Then there are other days I make so many excuses and feel so unsure of God’s direction that I feel like I need to hide from people for a while, because I am not going to do them or me any good by interacting.

Peter’s Love Questioned

If I were to relate to someone in the Bible it would be Peter. At times he seemed so confident and at other times he seemed like he was missing the mark. Jesus calls him out on it in John 21, questioning Peter if his love for Jesus was the real deal.

Dialogue:

John 21:15

Jesus asks, “Do you (unconditionally) love me?” (Agape)
Peter replies, “You know I (have deep affection) love you.” (Phileo)

Jesus was asking Peter if he loved Him. Peter replied he did love him, but with Phileo love. Although Peter replied honestly with stating he loved Jesus with a deep affection, Jesus was prodding him to love greater, to actively choose to love with an Agape love.

Jesus responds,” Feed my lambs.”

Greek translations:

Feed: Bosko: Spiritually nourish with Word of God.
Lambs: Arnion which means Christs followers, or a person with innocent intentions.

John 21:16

The same dialogue ensues.

Jesus asks do you (unconditionally) love Me? (Agape)
Peter replies, ”You know I (have deep affection) love you.” (Phileo)

Peter wants to truly love and thinks he already accomplished this trait, but Jesus was gently guiding him to understand that love was greater than just a respect for who God was. It is an active illustration of showing the love of God to others.

Jesus response, “Shepherd my sheep.”

Greek translations

Shepherd: Poimaino:to guard and guide.
Sheep: Probata: Someone easily led

3rd time Jesus questions Peter.

Jesus: Peter do you (have deep affection) love me? (Phileo)
Peter: Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I (have deep affection) love you.” (Phileo)
Jesus response ,”Feed my sheep.”

Greek words are repeated Boske and Probata.

It Hurts When Our Love is Questioned

It hurts when we feel our love for God is questioned or put to the test. If you were in Peter’s shoes, what would you answer Jesus? One predictor of if we agape love God is our actions representing a heart changed by God? Do we stand behind what we believe? Do we share? Do we live it out? These are the questions we should ask ourselves as we go about our daily business. A transformed heart= transformed life. You can’t fake it, so if something is lacking, it’s time to reevaluate your relationship with Christ and make some readjustments. You have one life to live, choose to live wholeheartedly for God and make a difference in someone else’s life.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:20-21

Photo Credit: by Pezibear

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