LOVE (agapetos) – beloved; dearly loved; divine love which is the purest of loves that is unconditional, steadfast, and never fails; it is the instinctive character and nature of the God of love to have affection towards His own and to demonstrate the love in laying down His life, bestowing gifts, heritage, and inheritance
Mark 12:29-31 NKJV
“The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Brief: Love is the gravity of the spiritual universe. It is among the most powerful forces known to man. Love is our greatest asset or worse liability. According to Jesus, the command to love God, self, and neighbor is the first and the covering commandment over all others. Love covers a multitude of sins, in that, it restrains us from violating love’s nature and love frees us to do as we incline as there is no law against the law of God’s love. Finally, love is the bond of perfection because that which we love most over time we grow to resemble. Love never fails in both good and evil.
LEARNING TO LOVE GOD
- Revelation 2:4 NIV – Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Lord, we repent of leaving our first love to go after competing loves and conflicting affections. Today, we make loving You first priority.
- 2 John 6 NIV – And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. Lord, teach us what true love is and to learn to love You by loving Your commands, to offer ourselves as living sacrifices in intelligent acts of worship and reasonable service to the Lordship of Christ, and lay down our lives for the One Who laid down His life for us.
- Colossians 3:13-14 – Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these things put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Lord, grace us to make love the adhesive that binds mercies, humility, forbearance, benevolence, gratitude, and forgiveness together in unity in us and among us.
- Acts 13:22, 36 NIV – I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do. For when David served God’s purpose in his own generation he fell asleep. Lord, our lives are in Your hand, our hearts are in your keeping; create in us a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within us, search us, try us, and know us; give us an undivided heart to fear your name, cleanse our hands and purify our hearts to see You as You are and to be able to ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in the holy place.
LEARNING TO LOVE OURSELVES
- John 13:34 TPT – So I give you now a new commandment: Love each other just as much as I have loved you. Lord, help us to learn to love others the same way and just as much as You have loved us for we cannot give what we have not received. Freely we will receive so we can freely give.
- 2 Timothy 3:1-2 Amplified – But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered… Lord, teach us to love ourselves, not as selfish, self-centered idols, but the way You freely loved us so we can freely love one another with that selfsame love.
- Ephesians 5:28-29 NKJV – For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His flesh and bones. Lord, help us to learn to love ourselves the way You have loved us so we can love others in like manner; teach us how to refresh our spirit, restore our soul, and renew our mind, and replenish our bodies that we can prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers.
- 1 John 4:19 NIV – We love because he first loved us. Lord, teach us to love the things You love, hate the things You hate; we chose to love Your commands by learning to obey what is written and spoken to us by Your voice to have Your love perfected in us so we will have confidence on the day of judgment.
LEARNING TO LOVE OTHERS
- 1 Peter 4:8 NIV – Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Lord, help us to possess the love poured out on us through Holy Spirit so that the way we love will protect us from the perversions of love and filter our love to pure love for others the way You loved us.
- John 15:12 – My command is this: love each other as I have loved you. Lord, teach us never to calculate our love to others but freely give as we were freely given and have freely received; remove prejudice, bias, racial animosity, partiality, dishonor, self-righteousness, and spiritual pride so our love will not be half-hearted or a contaminated well.
- 1 Thessalonians 3:12 – May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. Lord, may our love be sincere towards others without hypocrisy, not seeded with legalism or limitations of selfish love; help us to understand that love grows as it is exercised and that the greatest gift of love are acts of pure love in living sacrifices.