The FIVE Types of Love

C.S. Lewis claims there are four types of love: Storge, Philia, Eros, and Agape. Storge is defined as the “affection” love—fondness through familiarity or family love. Philia is the “friendship” love, or the love between friends. Eros is the “romance” love. That’s pretty much self-explanatory, but it’s the love you feel toward your significant other, it is the “in love” feeling you get. Last but not least, there is Agape, which is also known as the “charity” love, or an unconditional love.

I, however, believe there is one more love not mentioned by C.S. Lewis—God’s love. You might be thinking, “Well, that’s an unconditional love, so it would be Agape,” but I don’t believe that. I believe that God’s love is so great, so powerful, and so life-changing, that it has its own category because no other love can ever compare to it and there is no perfect way to describe it! He is the very definition of love.

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Seriously, how many of you would allow your only son to be adopted and raised by a new family, and then watch him get beaten, scarred, bruised, bloodied, and hung on a cross for everyone to watch him die to save millions of unworthy people? How many of you would listen to the hateful remarks and bashings by these people on one day and then send your own son to die for them and save them the next? We often tell ourselves we would go to the ends of the earth to save the ones we love, but what if you have to sacrifice something you love to save someone else you love who doesn’t necessarily love you?

That is what’s so awesome about God’s love. Yes, it is unconditional like Agape, but it is also Storge, Philia, and Eros, for he loves us like a father, walks with us like a friend, and wants us to have an intimate relationship with him being our one and only God. I just don’t see how that compares to any of the love’s we experience here on earth and that is why God’s love is in its own category, separated from all other feelings.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he sent his only son so that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Romans 5:8 says, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 8:37-39 says, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

What other kinds of love do you know of that fit that criteria? What other loves would make someone sacrifice their only son for sinners? What other loves would survive death, life, angels, rulers, present, past, future, or anything else on this earth or out of it? Even the most in love couples say to one another, “I will love you until the day I die.” Guess what, folks? Christ’s love exceeds death! It is like no other love. What other love do you know that empowers you like the love of God? There is no other love like this. Therefore, it cannot be categorized into such a defined category of love, because it is greater than anything else.

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The Things God Didn’t Give Me

 

There are so many people that will brag about how well their life is going. For those people, this is the only time they give God credit for anything. “God has blessed me with a great family,” or “God has blessed me with a new job,” but what about what God hasn’t given you? Do we ever take a moment to stop and think of what we don’t have because God did not intend for us to have it?

This is not a negative post, so don’t get depressed by thinking of all the things you want but don’t have. Instead, think of 2 Timothy 1:7. It says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity, but of power, love, and self-control.”

Let’s just think about that for a moment. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity.”  So why are we so afraid to step out of our comfort zone? I find that in church functions, this is the time some people become the most fearful. It’s like when God is telling you to push that extra mile, just a few steps out of your comfort zone, you shut down and make excuses. I’ve done it before, too. “Well, what if it’s not really God telling me to do this and it’s my flesh wanting to do it for show?” or “Well, I could do that, but I’m not feeling to well and that might just make it worse,” or even when he is telling you that you need to go to the altar and instead you tell yourself, “Well, I’m not wearing an outfit that will cover me if I kneel down to pray…” That’s the excuse I used to use a lot. But, let me tell you, God doesn’t care about your excuses. He doesn’t care what you try to tell yourself to get out of doing something he has called you to do. He only cares whether you do it or not.

Stop making excuses for yourself out of fear. Fear is not from the Lord, it is from the devil trying to convince you that you have worse things to worry about than doing the will of God. Even if something might seem so little that you think it wouldn’t matter whether you do it or not because someone else will if you don’t, God has intended for you to bless others in such a way that maybe you can’t even see how you are blessing them. It’s not about you. It’s not about how uncomfortable you might feel doing it or how strange some people might find it. It’s all about glorifying the Lord and living out his word because God has not given us a spirit of fear.

Timidity is defined as the lack of self-assurance, bravery, or courage. We are timid all the time, sometimes without even realizing it. But let me tell you that if the Lord is walking with you, you have no reason to be timid or afraid. I hear people often say, “Jesus is my co-pilot.” If you’re someone that says that, let me just say that YOU NEED TO SWITCH SEATS! Jesus did not die on that cross so that he could be your co-pilot. He did not come down to this earth and suffer for man so that you could only use him when you are too afraid to pilot your own plane. He came down, he suffered, and he died so that He would be your auto pilot, so that he could steer you in the right direction, guide you, teach you, and love you so that when things got hard, you didn’t have to say, “Jesus, take the wheel,” because he’s had it all along. We have no reason to be afraid or timid of anything in this world because GOD IS NOT OF THIS WORLD, and he exceeds any level of wisdom, hope, love, or peace that we could ever achieve in this world because He IS wisdom, hope, love, peace, goodness, faithfulness, etc.

I’ve spent a good chunk of my life relying on myself to get through things, to be strong for everyone else because I was afraid to not be in control, but God did not give me a spirit of fear, and I encourage you to live by 2 Timothy 1:7, even for the little things.

I work at Arby’s and when I close, I have to take the trash out to the dumpster on the other side of the parking lot. Every night I do this, I sing Let It Go from Frozen just so I’m not afraid of what might be in that dumpster because there are always raccoons or cats out there. I sing loudly so that I know they can hear me coming because I’m afraid of them jumping out at me. All this time, I’ve been singing Let it Go but I haven’t actually been letting go, because I still wanted to be in control. I was living with a spirit of fear, but God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.

I know this post may seem like I am rambling on, and I may just be posting this for myself, but I know I can’t be the only one who has been afraid to step out of their comfort zone because I didn’t know what would happen if I did. Isn’t that the whole point of faith, though? To step out on a limb even though you don’t know if there is ground beneath it, because you believe that there will be someone or something there to catch you if it breaks? Faith is believing without seeing, but we see the miracles of God every day. We feel him in our hearts and THAT is why we have faith. What about when you cannot see the miracles? What if you can’t feel him with you? Where does the faith go when you are afraid? The bible says he never leaves us, nor forsakes us, yet when we don’t see him, we fear he may have left us, but “God has not given me a spirit of fear or timidity, but of power, love, and self-control.”

A Prayer A Day Keeps The Devil Away

So, we’ve all heard many expressions such as, “Prayer works!” or, “A prayer a day keeps the devil away!” But we keep asking for proof. We see negative things happening all around us. What happened to the positive? The prayers that were answered? We have a tendency to forget when a prayer is answered the moment another prayer is not.

The truth is in the word. The Lord knows all things before they happen. He knows exactly how many hairs are on your head. He knows what your parents will name you and what you’re future career will be before you are even born. So, why doesn’t he answer some of our prayers?

When you pray, how do you do it? Do you pray for things you want to happen, or do you pray for God’s will to be done? Have you ever prayed for something that didn’t happen, and then later on decide that you were much happier or better off because it didn’t happen?

This is because God knows what we need for the future. He knows our future, and he wants to help us reach it. This is why it is important to remember when you are praying that God’s will will be done, and all things happen for a reason or purpose that we may not understand at the time because we are overwhelmed in emotion or ignorant of the future.

If you want proof of prayer working, pay special attention to the little things just as you do the big things. The child being strolled along the sidewalk by the mother that kept praying for a baby is just as much proof as the A on a math test that a teenager prayed for.

Two days ago, I rolled the window of our ’03 Cadillac Deville down because we finally had some nice weather. To my surprise, the window wasn’t going to roll back up when I got home. For the next day, I had to our trash bags over where the window should have been just in case it rained, and every five to ten minutes I kept praying that The Lord would roll the window up, because the door’s motor has a short in it, but the window still wouldn’t roll up. Today, thunderstorms are supposed to hit, and this is the only vehicle we have. This morning, I started praying even harder. I knew if something happened to mess up that car, we would not be able to get around at all since in my household of three, we all have jobs. I prayed the whole way back from taking my mother to work. As soon as I pulled in the driveway, I gave the button one more push and the window rolled up! I noticed though that when I opened the door to get out, the radio was still playing. (When the motor is working, the radio shuts off as soon as you open the door after turning the car off.) It was literally as if God rolled the window up for me and wanted to prove it to me.

I could have easily thought the motor just decided to work. It’s not hard to forget the little miracles that happen around us. That’s because we only consider miracles to be big things that we’ve prayed for for a long time, but a miracle can be anything good happening around us, even if we haven’t prayed for it.

A prayer is a powerful thing. A prayer a day may keep you thinking positively, but continuous prayer is what will keep the devil away, and prayer does work.

A Diamond in the Rough

It is easy to get lost in this crazy world and forget exactly who we are. It is easy to dwell on the hurt, the obstacles, the battles we endure every day just to stay alive. However, every ounce of pain, every obstacle we fall to or overcome, and every battle we win or lose has taught us a lesson. Every bridge that’s collapsed under our feet has taught us what it is to stand. Everything we have faced individually and together has molded us like clay into the human beings we are today.

It is said that each person on the planet is a diamond in the rough. We all have our own unique texture, glow, and sparkle. When looking up “diamond in the rough,” I became aware of two meanings. The first was this: “Someone (or something) that has hidden exceptional characteristics and/or future potential, but currently lacks the final touches that would make them (or it) truly stand out from the crowd.” I believe this definition to be true in the cases of some people. I believe there is potential in each and every human being, but sometimes fear keeps us from allowing that potential out for others to see. It prevents us from putting the finishing and perfecting touches on ourselves to make us stand out from the crowd, simply because we are too afraid to be different.

The second definition I found was this: “The phrase is metaphorical and relates to the fact that naturally occurring diamonds are quite ordinary at first glance, and that their true beauty as jewels is only realized through the cutting and polishing process.” All of us look very ordinary on the surface. What separates us from one another are our hearts, minds, ambitions, morals, beliefs, everything that is inside us. I take this definition to have two meanings. One is that you have to dig deep into the surface of the diamond in order to make it stand out, glow, and sparkle. Another is that in order for a diamond to sparkle so beautifully, it has to be cut. And only after it has been cut can it be polished.

We face obstacles and trials every day of our lives. Some are very simple, and others are very difficult, but without the cuts and scrapes that we received in those triumphs or falls, we would not be the diamonds we are today, and we would not be capable of being polished. We hurt and we cry for those scars on our hearts and our bodies, but soon we will be polished, and we will stand out from one another as we are all beautiful, each in his or her own way, none more beautiful than the rest, but all shining brighter than the stars in the sky.