Pause and think about it!

Archive for the ‘Bible Study’ Category

The Epistle of Jude

Creepy Teachers, Sneaky Libertines, and our Glorious God

by C. Yvonne Karl

Click on title below to read Summary

Jude

The River of Life

An article out of the Archives

 

Click on link below

VOL 02 NO 03-The River of Life

Bearing one another’s burdens

February 20 – In touch by Charles Stanley

Bearing One Another’s Burdens 
Galatians 6:1-5

If you are looking for a way to carry out Christ’s command to love your neighbor, Paul has a suggestion: bear their burdens. At some point, everyone struggles under the weight of an oppressive situation. Believers have an obligation to get under that load next to their brothers and sisters.

Jesus sets the pattern for burden bearing. He calls to Himself all who are heavy-laden and gives them rest (Matt. 11:28-29). Since God predestines believers to be conformed to Christ’s likeness, we must imitate His care and concern for those who suffer. Acts 4:32 shows that the early church followed His example. To lift the load of poverty, they pooled their resources so that no one was in need.

Paul’s letters make clear his concern for the physical and spiritual welfare of growing churches. He fasted and prayed for them and sent missionaries when he could. He felt it was his responsibility to strengthen them, even though he sustained a personal hardship—his thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:7).

A believer cannot wait until his life is clear of obstacles before reaching out to others, since that day may never come. Even though we have our own needs, we can do all things through Christ’s strength—including sharing someone else’s adversity (2 Cor. 12:9).

When you’re willing to wade into someone else’s troubles to help that person hold up under the weight, two things happen. First, he or she receives desperately needed blessings in the form of aid, support, and love. And second, you fulfill God’s command to love a neighbor as yourself.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

Holey or Wholly Holy

At the time, though I took them very seriously, I did not fully comprehend the impact and gravity of these words. Over the years they became more precious than ever, and today I treasure the wonderful memories and rewards of being joined to my husband by God and anchored in my marriage by these vows. One day I will see him again, but not as husband and wife for there is no marital union in heaven (Matt. 22:30). When we pass from this life into our eternal abode, we will shed our earthcoat of mud and dirt called flesh. We will struggle no more with its lust of the eye, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. We will be “as the angels” (Matt.22: 30; Mark 12:25; Luke 20:35).

In the last days before his departure for his heavenly home, my husband commended me to the Lord, gave me his love and blessings, and promised to be waiting to welcome me when our Father calls my name and says it’s time to come home. What a reunion that will be!  I can’t begin to comprehend a relationship that is purely spiritual (since we’ll be without our physical house), yet in some small way it does help me understand why spiritual relationships are so important while we live on this earth. We are beginning our eternal abiding in Jesus Christ and the natural life must submit to spiritual principles.

WHOLLY HOLY

After some direct and consequential teaching to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul wrote to them: And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your WHOLE spirit and soul and body be preserved BLAMELESS unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 5:23).  He is saying that as a total being you are set apart from others by God to keep yourself unto Him and unto Him only. Jesus said, thou shalt love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength (Mark 12:30), and you answer, “I will!”  The relationship begins. Over the weeks, months, and years that follow you find yourself renewing that vow daily as you face sickness and health, joy and sorrow, prosperity and adversity; and forsaking all others keep yourself to Him, and to Him only. The icing on the cake is that this vow we take is for eternity, not “till death do us part.” Those who are in Christ will never see death (John 8:51). Oh yes, they will shed their earthly body, but their spirit—which lives forever—won’t even miss it!

To sanctify you wholly means that every part of your being will be set apart for use by God: your mind, your will, your emotions, your attitudes, your actions, and your abilities. Nothing in your life will remain unaffected by this union with the Lord.

When we married, my husband was 36 and I was 27. Both of us were quite independent having lived alone for a few years without the encumbrance or necessity of looking after someone else. What an awakening when we realized that we were now accountable to each other. One no longer would decide to go away for a few days without the other. One no longer spent money without the input and consent of the other. We had a mutual concern now: our marriage. We were transparent before each other. Everything one of us did affected the other one in some way, thus we had to consider each other’s feelings, schedules, likes, dislikes, responsibilities, and personalities.

So it is in our relationship to the Lord. Our commitment to Him must penetrate and infiltrate every aspect of our being. No part of us can be withheld. In a marriage, when people are selfish and unwilling to work out such a relationship, they head for the divorce court. Before the marriage, they yearned for a husband or wife but later realized they didn’t want the changes that came with the commitment. They didn’t want to give up their old ways, their independence, and their pet indulgences. They did not give themselves wholly to the marriage. In the same way, often people make a vow to follow Jesus Christ then when adversity comes their way, they become angry and decide to split. When their selfish prayers are not answered to their liking, they reject God and harbor resentment toward Him. They did not give themselves wholly to Him.

God wants us to be WHOLLY HOLY—that is, every part of our lives to be in sync with Him. We are not under duress in this relationship.  When you answer His invitation, you say, “I will.” That means you choose to enter this commitment. You “will” to do it. You’re the benefactor of His blessings and His provisions and get all the inheritance that comes with carrying His name! He doesn’t come into this relationship with charge cards filled to the max. He comes with the wealth of a cattleman who owns all the cattle on a thousand hills! That alone ought to be worth giving up your spiritual poverty. His are eternal riches that outlast this life.

Thou shalt Love the LORD your God with your WHOLE HEART and with your WHOLE SOUL and with your WHOLE MIND and with your WHOLE STRENGTH(Deut. 6:5; Mark 12:30-NIV).

When Jesus quoted this Old Testament scripture, He was pointing out that a commitment to the Lord must have no holes in it. It must be whole, complete. When that commitment is not fragmented, it will result in a holy life.

LOVE WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART

When Jesus says to love the Lord with all your heart He is referring to your innermost being.

Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flow the issues of life (Prov. 4:23, KJV).

The word “heart” comes from the Greek word kardia; In Latin, it is cor—the very “core” of your being. Men look on the outward appearance. God looks on the heart (1 Sam. 16:7).  The heart is the center of the inner life of man and the source or seat of all the forces and functions of soul and spirit…It is supremely the one center in man to which God turns, in which the religious life is rooted…the center of his personal life (Kittel, III:611-612)[i].  We can actually say the word “heart” refers to attitudes which motivate, radiate, and energize our lives.

Some may ask how they can love others, as Jesus commanded, when they love the Lord with ALL their heart. It seems there would be nothing left for anyone else. Quite the contrary. If you have children, do you remember when you were expecting the second child? You wondered how you could possibly love that child after focusing all your love on the first one. Would there be any room left in your heart for another? And another? And perhaps another? Of course! When you love the Lord with your whole heart, love just oozes from that heart into the lives of others. When you fill the coffee cup to the brim and keep pouring, it runs over onto the saucer and onto the table and onto the floor. It covers everything around it. The Love of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). It will fill up as much of our heart as we permit.

If you allow unforgiveness, resentment, and bitterness in your heart, they will choke you to the very core of your being. They are like an infection that spreads to every part of your heart. Soon your motives are not seeded by love but by these negative thoughts and emotions and they eat at you until you have no part of your heart left for loving. But if you allow yourself to be cleansed by the Word of God and get all those negative attitudes out of your heart, you’ll have a fresh new love for the Lord and others.

Many marriages break apart, as do many commitments to Christ, because little hurts have been allowed to fester and absorb all seeds of love for one another.  Serve [the Lord] with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD SEARCHES every HEART and understands every motive behind the thoughts (1 Chr. 28:9, NIV). You can’t hide anything from God. Whether you acknowledge it or not, He knows what is in your heart. He knows how you continuously replay the pictures of mistreatment, rejection, abuse, and deprivation and desire to get revenge on those who were responsible for them. The Lord says it’s time to clean up your heart and make a vow to God that you will love Him with your whole heart—reserving no chamber therein for growing bitter roots. You want your heart to be whole, and holy, not holey—as in full of holes.

LOVE WITH YOUR WHOLE SOUL

Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul  (Ps 143:8). “Soul” comes from the Greek word “psyche” which literally means “breath.” It is difficult to distinguish “soul” from “spirit” (pneuma) which also means “breath.” However, Hebrew 4:12 tells us the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. God’s Word is the medicine that goes deep into your innermost being and brings healing to places that have holes, wounds, hurts, and bruises. It causes the breath you breathe to be pure and not filled with venom and hatred, accusations and retribution. The Word restores that which was lost so you will be whole again.

Everyone has stories about things that were lost and found. I, too, have many. One that comes back to me again and again is the time I was washing my hands and my engagement ring slipped off my finger and went down the drain while I stood helpless—watching. It happened in an instant. You know the feeling. It appeared to be lost forever. Ah, but the one who had given it to me was now my husband. When I told him about it, he went right to work, tore out the pipe under the sink, and presented me with the brilliantly shining diamond ring. It was a messy job, but he knew exactly what to do. So it is with our Lord. He has given beautiful gifts of life and forgiveness of sin. Often in the process of the daily routine of life, in a moment of vulnerability we see it slipping away from us and we cry out to Him for help. No problem! He sends His Word, takes a few things apart, cleans us out, puts us back together again, and restores us to the joy of His salvation (Ps. 51:12).

The Psalmist says, Let everything that has breath praise the Lord (Ps. 150:6). In fact, Paul says In Him we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17:28). Our soul is the very breath that God has breathed into us (Gen. 2:7). We are commanded to love the Lord who gave us that breath, with our WHOLE soul—every breath we take. As the deer pants for the water so my soul pants for You (Ps. 42:1). Our desire is to be one with Him. Then He [Jesus] breathed on them and told them, Receive the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). First, our Lord breathed into us the breath of life itself. Some then experience forgiveness of sin and give themselves to the Lord, but don’t go the extra step to consecrate themselves wholly to Him. They need to ask Jesus to breath on them and be filled with His Holy Spirit—to be sanctified, that is to be separated from the world, set apart as a vessel through whom the Holy Spirit of God can flow in fruit and gifts. Those who have experienced this second breath and love the Lord with their WHOLE soul find loving God as natural as breathing air.

LOVING GOD WITH YOUR WHOLE MIND

{The Lord] will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is fixed on Him  (Is. 26:3). The “mind” is the sum total of our faculties of perception and understanding. It includes acts of thinking and knowing. As we read earlier, God knows not only our thoughts but also our intentions (Heb. 4:12).  He is omniscient—He knows everything! He knows our thoughts before we think them (Ps. 139:2). His thoughts are so much greater than our thoughts (Is. 55:8). He knows our ability, our capability, our vulnerability, and our instability. If we love Him with our WHOLE mind, not just giving Him a “piece” of it, He can elevate our thinking, reform it, transform it, and cause us to be conformed to His image rather than to the world.

We are to control our thoughts, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor.10: 5). When we follow this advice, we will not be meditating upon our circumstances, our inhibitions, our past hurts, or our limitations. God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7). A “sound” mind is not sick. It is not divided. It does not waver. It knows what to do and directs the body to do it! While some people sit around saying, “I can’t”, others are defying circumstances and succeeding. While some sit around saying, “I’ve been offended”, others are forgetting, forgiving, and moving on toward better things.  If Paul had not chosen to love the Lord with his WHOLE mind, he would have fainted at the persecution and rejections he suffered in his ministry. If Peter had not chosen to love the Lord with his WHOLE mind, he would have wallowed in his own misery at having denied the Lord. Don’t allow any holes in your commitment! Be wholly committed to the Lord.

LOVE THE LORD WITH YOUR WHOLE STRENGTH

The word “strength” comes from the Greek word “ischus” which is “ability”. Now unto him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Eph. 3:20). It is His power in us that enables us to do the things He has equipped us to do. We must realize that without Jesus we can do nothing (John 15:5). We are co-workers with the Lord. We do our part; He does His part—and the job gets done.

The word “strength” also has in its meaning, “forcefulness”, which implies the need to willfully choose to do those things we have the ability to do. Let us not be weary for in due season we will reap if we do not faint (give up) (Gal. 6:9). We are to love the Lord with ALL of our ability—whatsoever you do in word or deed, do ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him (Col. 3:17). When you do a task half-heartedly, there is no joy in it. It becomes drudgery. When you only do tasks that are easy, there is no challenge in them. They become mundane. But when you put everything you have, all the effort you can muster up, and stretch beyond that which you know and activate the power of Almighty God within you, it is exciting, extraordinary, and fulfilling to you, and of tremendous benefit and encouragement to others.

HOLEY or WHOLLY, HOLY

People who have holes in their relationships to one another and to God are not happy people. They are fragmented. They are forever searching for someone to blame for their failures, unhappiness, and lack. They are quick to point out the evils of society, the weaknesses of their friends, and the shortcomings of their relatives. They cling to their past abuses and present difficult or strange circumstances as if to have an excuse for being scattered mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Paul prayed that there be no holes in our lives—and this mending of our daily lives begins by being made WHOLE by the God of Peace: And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your WHOLE spirit and soul and body be preserved BLAMELESS unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 5:23).

If you give yourself WHOLLY to the Lord—loving Him with your WHOLE heart, mind, soul, and strength, you will be HOLY—pure. Paul’s prayer is a prayer we should have for one another today as well. I pray that you allow the God of peace to set you apart completely for Him—your whole being, every part of you; and that you continue living and moving and having your very existence in Him—24 hours a day, seven days a week; and that you remain holy—pure—until the Lord comes for you.  This relationship will permeate every thought, attitude, intention, act, deed, word, movement, and choice you make. The fruit of the Spirit will be evident in your life. You will have a merry heart, a sound mind, and an abundant life.

Does that mean your life will be perfect? No. But it will be holy because you approach adversity, persecution, disappointments, and afflictions from God’s perspective because your mind is fixed on Him.

Does it mean you’ll have no problems? No. But you will have wholeness because the Holy Spirit is your comforter, your helper, your guide, and your teacher.

Does it mean you’ll not face temptation? No. But you will have the power to resist the temptation because you are wholly yielded to the Lord and sin shall not have dominion over you…now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruits unto holiness, and the end everlasting life (Rom. 6:14,22).

Don’t be holey. Be wholly holy!

© Reprinted from V16N06Y2001 The Alabaster Box by Yvonne Karl.

[i] Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Edited by Gerhard Friedrich. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 9th printing, 1980. Vol. 3, p. 611-612.

 

All God’s Children Have Shoes

After publishing an article under this title a few years ago, I received a letter from a dear pastor in one of our non-USA countries saying when he first read the title he expected this to be a prosperity message written by an affluent American who had never experienced the poverty of the shoeless and naked.  However, after reading the full text he had come to a new appreciation of the word “shoes” in the Bible and rejoiced that the title was true everywhere in the world.

Introduction

How could I forget those childhood trips to the capital city of Charleston to visit Morrison’s Department Store where my parents routinely purchased my shoes. Perhaps my memory is vivid because of the x-ray machine that sat in the middle of the shoe department. After the clerk put the shoes on me, I stood up on the machine so he and my parents could look at the x-ray picture of my feet in the shoes to be sure they fit. It’s been over half a century and I’ve never seen another such machine anywhere. The shoes were a provision for my feet—to see that they were protected from harm as I walked here and there. The machine was a provision to see that they fit properly. There is a wide variety of shoes to protect the feet, comfort the feet, keep the feet from slipping on ice or sand dunes, or even to complete the clothing and make the feet look nice.

The Description of the Shoes

In the Song of Solomon, the King tells the maiden how beautiful her feet are in sandals. I suppose ever since then it has been considered quite lovely and feminine for ladies to wear sandals. Perhaps this is why some religious groups actually ban them—they don’t want to call attention to the ladies’ pretty feet. Although there are several references to shoes and sandals in both the Old and New Testaments, they are generally descriptions of what was done with them rather than what they looked like. History tells us more.

Both men and women wore sandals. There were many variations. The sole might be made of the tough hide of a camel’s neck. Sometimes several thicknesses of hide were sewn together. Some had one strap between the toes like our thongs of today. Some had a strap around the ankle and heel. Some historians say the shoes, sandals, or slippers of the Jewish ladies were beautifully formed, and richly embroidered. The majestic walk of a beautiful woman in these shoes was something to watch. It is obvious that the King saw such beauty in the walk of the maid for he calls her a “prince’s daughter.”

The Story Behind the Shoes

We observe that the King didn’t just comment on how beautiful were the maiden’s feet, but deliberately added “with shoes,” or “in sandals”—depending on which version of the Bible we read. Why is that significant? 

To go barefoot was a sign of distress. David went barefoot up Mt. Olivet when he left Jerusalem at the time of Absalom’s rebellion. When Ezekiel was directed to stop his mourning, he was told to put on his shoes.

To go barefoot was a sign of humility. In obedience to God’s command, the priests were not allowed to minister with shoes on. They were to humble themselves in the sight of the Lord.

To go barefoot was a sign of poverty. When the prodigal son came back to his father’s house, the servants were ordered to put shoes on his feet.

To remove shoes was a sign of reverence. When the Lord wanted to talk to Moses, He commanded him to take off his shoes. When Joshua met the captain of the Lord’s host near Jericho, he was required to remove his shoes.

Jews did not wear their sandals indoors. They removed them upon entering and the feet were washed by a servant with water that was always available at the door.

To give a shoe was a sign of possession. In Israel, when a man redeemed or exchanged property, he took off his shoe and gave it to his neighbor as a testimony to confirm the deal. This symbolic act probably originated from the fact that the right to walk on the property belonged only to the owner of it; therefore the offer of a sandal was a very appropriate representation of the transfer of property.

To carry or unloose another’s sandals was considered a very lowly task—the most menial duty that could be performed. When John the Baptist spoke of the coming of Christ, he referred to this when he said he didn’t even consider himself worthy to open Jesus’ sandals, take them off, and carry them.

To show readiness for a journey, one wore shoes. This custom is reflected in the instructions God gave Moses for the children of Israel to eat the Passover supper with shoes on. When he sent them out two by two, Jesus commanded His disciples to wear sandals. When the angel came to take Peter out of prison he told him to put on his sandals.

The condition of the feet was very important. In the Old Testament, we read that a man could not be a priest if he had a deformity in one of his feet. If his feet are straight, he will make straight paths for those who come after him to follow. He will wear the proper shoes to establish the tracks.

Isaiah comments that those who communicate the gospel of peace and salvation have beautiful feet. Paul instructed the Ephesian believers to wear the shoes that prepare them with the gospel of peace. What is that gospel of peace? Rest to the weary heart. Deliverance to the depressed, the addicted, the afflicted, and the suffering.

My daughter’s shoes

My husband had flat feet that always seemed to cause him problems. It was difficult to find shoes that were comfortable for dress or work. When our daughter Caroline was born, he took her feet into his hands and checked them out. He was concerned that those chubby little feet of hers were inherited from him and did not want her to endure the life-long agony of hurting feet. We prayed for her feet but also sought medical advice as to how to prevent the duplication of her dad’s foot problem. The pediatrician chuckled a bit and said we really wouldn’t know and shouldn’t be concerned about it for a couple of years, but to make us feel better we could keep her fitted with Thomas Heel Shoes. Today, I can’t find a store here in my area that sells them, but in the city where we lived at the time we found a vender. Of course they were expensive; but nothing was too good for our daughter if they helped her have beautiful, healthy feet. Before she could even walk, she was fitted in Thomas Heel Shoes—she had Thomas Heel sandals, Thomas Heel patent leather Sunday shoes, and Thomas Heel walking shoes. As her feet grew they soon displayed lovely arches. That just encouraged us all the more to keep buying her good shoes.

When Caroline was a teenager and taking ballet, she often commented on how much she liked her feet. My husband got a big smile on his face when she admired her feet, and eventually we told her the story about why she always got the best shoes. It was obvious that the Almighty Creator, not the shoes, produced the nice arch on her well-formed feet. Nevertheless, Dad was happy that he had provided the best shoes for her. Now that she is an adult, and still likes her feet, we enjoy recalling the attention her dad gave to them.

The following narrative relates the meaning of the shoes our Father God wants to give us. Keep in mind that the “I” in the story could be anyone for it is drawing a picture of our spiritual life.

The Significance of Shoes: An allegory

I had no shoes. I was in the humiliation of sin. I had no hope of eternal life in heaven, I was weary from climbing up the mountains and hiking through the valleys of life’s bitter experiences. The hot sands of the dry desert burned my sensitive feet. It seemed like everywhere I went, people stepped on me.

Then one day as I was out walking back and forth and getting nowhere, the King came by carrying some shoes. I thought in my heart: Oh, if only He would offer me those shoes. They would soothe my poor aching feet. They would protect them from the rocks and hot pavement. Perhaps I could even work the crops in that muddy field over there, if only I had some shoes, I mustered up all the courage I could find within me. It was my only chance. Could I get His attention? I would try. I would cry out. I would press close to Him. I would do whatever He wished—if only He would give me some shoes. “Sir,” I cried, as He passed by me and I reached out to Him. “Sir, do you have a job for me? Is there any work I can do for you? “Sure,” He said. “Follow me; but here you must wear these.” And He handed me the most beautiful pair of shoes I have ever seen. “Sir,” I said, “These are far too good for me.”

“Put them on,” He said. “They’re yours! I’ve adopted you. You’re in my family now. I’ve sent your name up to my Father. I’ve got shoes. You’ve got shoes. My father says that ALL of His children must have shoes.”

Since that day I have not been able to stop telling my story. I am possessed by Him. I am His. That’s why He calls me the “Prince’s daughter.”  Now when I face difficult circumstances and feel I cannot climb out of them, He reminds me: Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name. You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.”

When He sees me ready to help someone, He reminds me that He’ll come along with me. He looks first at my feet to see if I’m prepared to make the journey. I look at my feet and think how wonderful they feel in my perfectly-fitted shoes. I wonder how He knew my size? As we travel together, He whispers to me about how beautiful my feet are as I take the provisions to others and tell them about my new shoes. After our time of sharing, sometimes we adopt others into our family, and we give out more shoes.

These are my spiritual shoes and the King is Jesus!  He lifted me out of the miry clay; He placed my feet on the rock to stay. These shoes take me through fires and floods, through deserts and mountaintops, through valleys and forests. These shoes are also my battle boots and trample on one enemy after the other; and these shoes never wear out. 

Every day, sometimes many times during the day, the King reminds me how lovely my feet are in my shoes, and it causes me to leap with joy. Everyone can have a pair of these shoes. There are spiritual shoes to fit all of God’s children. They are His provision.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, You have given me spiritual “shoes” to help me walk through all the difficulties of life as well as to dance through all the good times; and I thank You. In Jesus’ Name, I pray.

_____________________

Adapted from Shoes, Silk, and Salt, Chapter 3   (C) C. Yvonne Karl; Also, The Alabaster Box, V10N08Y95 

yvonnekarl@gmail.com

Bible References

Song of Solomon 7:1; 2 Sam 15:30; Ezek 24:17; James 4:10; Luke 15:22; Ex 3:5; Mark 6:9; Acts 12:8; Lev 21:18; Isa 52:7; Rom 10:15; Eph 6:15; Isa 40:1-2; Psa 40:2; Deut 29:5

The Greatest of these is “Agape” Love

Click on the following titles to read more about the kinds of LOVE most mentioned in Scripture.

01 Love- Introduction

02 Love-Phileo

03 Love-Agape

04 Love-1 Corinthians 13

If we want to have a wonderful Godly life, obedient to the voice of God and have rich fellowship with other Christians, we will need to exercise all kinds of love.

  1. We need agape love because some of the things that God requires of us are not fun or easy, but need to be done. 1 Cor.13:13; Jn.17:27; Jn.3:16; 2 Cor.5:14.
  2. We need to have phileo love because we need true friends to stand with us, people who are emotionally connected to us and with whom we can share our deepest thoughts and feelings. Jn11:37; Jn.5:20.
  3. We as Christians need to have storge love between us, a deep family affection that comforts us and helps us feel connected to our immediate genetic family as well as all our extended spiritual family. Romans 1:31 describes sinful humanity as having “no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.” The Greek word translated as “no love” is astorgos. The other instance of this word is found in 2 Timothy 3:3, where it is translated “without love.” In Romans 12:10 we find an interesting compound: philostorgos is translated as “be devoted.” The word combines philos and storge and means “to cherish one’s kindred.” Believers in Christ, children of the same heavenly Father, are to “be devoted to one another in love.” As part of God’s family, we should show loving affection toward each other and be prone to love. Philostorgus is used only once in the New Testament, and that’s in Romans 12:10.
  4. Eros love is important for starting a family and in the formation of deep, long-lasting bonds of strength between a husband and wife in marriage. In Greek mythology, the god of love was Eros. From this comes the English word erotic which is defined by Webster as “devoted to or tending to arouse sexual love or desire.” The Greek word eros is NOT used in the New Testament.

(c) The Alabaster Box. C. Yvonne Karl. yvonnekarl@gmail.com