Sun, Oct 20, 2019
Teacher: Evan Miller Series: Trending Words
Did you know that taking into account all of written English language in our current world, the average person (meaning you or me) would write the word love on average every 48.75 words? Crazy!
In the Bible it appears:
319 times in the New Testament
440 times in the Old Testament
This word is used 245 times in scripture, specifically all in the old testament-due of course to being Hebrew.
I love this word. A.) its fun to pronounce.
B.) I had never heard of it before I studied this sermon.
What is it? Well, simply put it is love as you would think of it, but specifically a very LOYAL, RESPECTFUL, FAITHFUL, GRACIOUS, GOOD kind of love.
Let’s talk about where it is found. 50% of the time this word, whether in noun or in verb form, is used in scripture it is found in the Psalms. This makes sense, since psalms is the longest book in scripture. However, 50% is such a massive percentage-let’s take a look at some examples.
“How priceless is your unfailing Love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
“For Great is your Love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead.”
“When I said, ‘my foot is slipping,’ your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.”
Psalms 107:8, 15, 21, 31
“Let them give thanks to the Lord, for His unfailing Love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.”
Replace the word love in this verses with “loyalty,” “faithfulness.”
Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.”
This is the root word from which AHAVA comes from in scripture. AHAVA is the word the Old Testament uses most often when describing love. It is wide ranging and appears 250 times in the old testament. I could be sexual love, deep romantic love, devotion to family members, and close friends. This all comes from the Harper Collins Bible Dictionary.
It is appropriate to view this word as the base from which many specific loves can be drawn from.
So what makes it different from Chesed? Why is it used so often?
Well, if we look at how often and where each of these words is used, Chesed refers usually to the love God has for us, His faithfulness towards us, His loyalty to His children.
‘hb refers more to our response to Him, to our neighbor, to our world. Think about it this way, the faithfulness and love of God is so alien and unmatchable to our own that there is an entirely separate word in Hebrew used.
So don’t try to be as faithful as God, don’t try to love God as much as He loves you-in other words….you cant. So we need to Ahav God, rest in his Chesed for us, respond with Ahav.
However, Ahav also refers to the love God has for us-but in this case it is not as specific as his unfailing Chesed. This is his emotional attraction to us, how much He likes us, how much he finds us truly irresistible. This love is an action, it is a noun.
I think a lot of us really struggle with the thought that God really does truly like us. We are supposed to know deep down that God loves us. And yeah we “do.” But do we really believe that? Do we believe He likes us?
Do you believe that He likes you even when you fail Him? Because He does. You know Israel who stabbed God in the back time after time after time?
“I will heal their waywardness and love (ahav) them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.”
“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”
This is the kind of word you sort of know if you’ve been in church culture for more than a few years, but do we really know what it means?
Agapao is the root word, found 319 times in Scripture. Some see the difference between agapeo and agape as simply as agapeo refers to the verb and agape refers to the verb. There is a lot of Scriptural evidence to support this view. Both words use the same core idea that we are looking at something very special.
Agape love is the unconditional love that God alone can give. Which means that without God-we are not giving it either.
This is the kind of Love where your brother or sister would come and punch you in the face and you’d look at them no differently than before they hurt you-you’d happily embrace them. Unconditional Love.
This is the NO HOLDS BARRED chasing after us love that God sends after us every day that we get up, open our eyes, and face the day. This is the love that we can count on when all else fails, even our ability to follow after Christ. Because this love was NEVER predicated on our ability to love God, or even try to follow Him in how He commands us to lead!
“But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.”
“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
1 John 4:7-9
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
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