I had the opportunity to teach Sunday School this past Sunday. My husband was sick and had lost his voice somewhat and wanted me to fill in ~after he read my notes...lol. I was scared, but I said yes. I was shaking so hard but I (through the help and guidance of my wonderful God) made it through. Here is my lesson:)
Love - How many types of Love are mentioned in the Bible? Can you name them? There are 3 types of love in the Bible. They all fall under one of these: 1 Agape, 2 Philios, and 3 Storge. (Side note: Eros is another Greek word for love, but it is not found in the Bible.)
Let's start with Storge. This love is a family love. It naturally happens between a parent and a child. When a woman finds out that she is pregnant there is an immediate connection, a love, a bond. This can also be found in siblings. This is also a love shared between a husband and a wife in a good marriage. It is not as conditional as Philios. It is a "I will love you, because I should" type of love.
Next is Philios. It is usually defined as a brotherly love. love that exists between close friends, to have special interest in someone or something, close associations, to have affection for, strong liking, This love is conditional, it usually wants something in return. "I will love you if you do _______." It is a "clique" type love.
Finally is Agape. This love is unconditional. the very nature of God, God's love for man. We are supposed to have this love for people ~including our enemies. Matt 5:44 is where Jesus told us to love our enemies. Agape is love because of what it does NOT because of how it feels.
A mother who loves her sick baby will stay up all night to care for him/her even though she doesn't want to. Agape is not generated from feelings, it is an exercise of the will a deliberate choice.
What is Love? 1 John 4:7-10
Love is NOT our love toward God BUT His love toward us. This is also a demonstration of His Grace!!!
Law says - Matt 22:37-40 (paraphrasing) - Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and strength.
Grace says - Jesus loves you with ALL His heart , ALL His mind, and ALL His strength. Jesus went all in on your (sorry I miss playing cards). He put it all on the line just for you! If you were the only one that would have been saved then He would do it all again!!!
The difference between Law and Grace:
Law says that you have to come to Him as a righteous person.
Grace says that He gave you righteousness as a gift when you accepted His Son.
Now lets talk about Peter and John for just a minute:)
Peter - Boasted of his own love for Jesus...I will always follow You. I will NEVER forsake You.
John - called himself the Beloved...He was boasting of God's love for him. He knew how much Jesus loved him!
The night Jesus was taken: Peter ran, cursing, and denying Jesus not just once but 3 times before morning. John was found at Jesus' feet.
After Jesus raised from the dead: John 21:15-17 Jesus comes to them a 3rd time and cooks them breakfast (you need to start your day with Him - I really think that it is super neat that He made them breakfast.) Jesus asks Peter 3x's of he loves Him. Why???? If you research the meaning of the love that is being used you will see that Jesus asked Peter twice if (agape) loved him. He was asking Peter: " Do you love me? Do you really love me the way that I love you? Do you love me unconditionally? Do you love me - you know the way that you boasted about loving me?" Peter's reply was always..."Lord, You know that I (philios) love you. So the last time Jesus asked if he loved Him, He came down to Peter's level and asked if he "philios - loved" Him.
Peter had learned a lesson and knew that he was not able, at that time, to love Jesus the way that He loved him. He finally figured out it was not about how much he loved Him but how much He loves him.
I challenge you to magnify His love for you. Let His love light you on fire and burn you up! It will then spread out and become contagious. When you boast of God's love for you, then you can hear His heartbeat (Joseph Prince). I also want you to personalize the scriptures when you read. Not only will it seem more personal but you will remember it more. He wrote you the longest love letter ever (66 books) and He longs for you to read it!