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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Love's Spontaneity

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.
1 John 5:3

So far this week we have basked in several superlatives concerning love. Think back with me: the Greek word agape intimates a feast full of love; it has been poured out (ekcheo) on me by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5); it is a love so lavish that I may be called a child of God (1 John 3:1). So lavish! The French word for bathe is laver: my spirit is bathed in blissful agape forever.

At the same time I am bursting at the seams, needing to let love out, wishing to love the Father and the Son back. But God is the great Lover of all time. How can I even approximate the gift of agape given me?  

The secret is wrapped around remaining in God’s love, and obeying His commands. As God says, this is love for (Me): obey (my) commands. Likewise, Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching” (John 14:23). Not much wiggle room there. Yet Jesus has assured us of this: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love” (John 15:9-10).

Remember, God has given us the Holy Spirit who has poured out all that love into our hearts (Romans 5:5). Surrendering to the great internal gush of agape is key. Then, as Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest April 30 says: “Love is not premeditated, it is spontaneous, i.e., it bursts up in extraordinary ways.”

1 John 5:3 continues to reassure us: And his commands are not burdensome. In God’s word, the teachings of Jesus, in particular, are loaded with ways to love Him back. But Jesus makes it even easier by summing it up this way: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).   

It all circles back to agape in its perfect God form, overflowing inside, loving God back spontaneously.

Nancy P

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