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Daily Reading: 29th June 2015

John 14.15

15 If you love Me you will keep My commandments.

The use of the word ‘love’ has to carry various shades of meaning in English. It is used to describe the love between a married couple, and it is used to describe the love of parents for children and children for their parents.

It can also be used to describe the love that friends have for one another, or for things that we like to do, and meals that we love to eat. There are many other uses of the word love in English.

In New Testament Greek there four words that are translated into English as love.

Many will have heard of the word ‘agape’, which means love, and it is this word that is used by John in verse 15.

It is the love that is especially the love of God for us, and of our love for Him, and our love for one another.

The word ‘agape’ is used in John 3.16, where we read that God loves the world so much that He gave His only Son.

The same word is used when Jesus replied to the expert in the religious Law, saying:

[38] This is the first and greatest commandment.

[39] A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’

[40] All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments” – Matthew 22.38-39 (NLT).

It is the word ‘agape’ that is used for ‘love’ throughout the teaching that Jesus gave in the Upper Room.

The early Church took the word ‘agape’ and used it as the word to describe the love that should exist within the body of Christ, the love that flows to us through the Holy Spirit.

Paul writes:

For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love – Romans 5.5 (NLT).

Therefore, since this is the love that we all need, we must look to the Holy Spirit to constantly pour out the love of God into our hearts, so that we can love Him and love one another.

Jesus had said earlier that it is by how we love each other that the world will see that we are His disciples.

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