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Agape Love

             Reflective Paper New Testament Survey.
             What is love? I remember a time when "I love you" was the hardest phrase to say to the person you really had feelings for because you knew when you said those words it would change the course of your relationship forever. But what is the true meaning of love? "The dictionary defines love as a feeling of strong personal attach-ment induced by sympathetic understanding or by ties of kindred; ardent affection for one's children; man's adoration for God; strong liking; fondness; good will, al love of learning; love of country." (Bell, pg. 10) According to Bell all of these definitions convey the outward appearance of love. He says that when looking at love that we need to take an inventory of our feeling to find out if we are truly displaying the type of love that God calls agape love. Bell says we need to ask ourselves the following questions: Do I return love? In any relationship love is a two way street. A marriage or relationship will not last very long if only one person is showing love and the other is not responding in kind. As a matter of fact, a spiritual relationship works in pretty much the same way. The bible says that God first loved us, but if we do not return that love to Him the relationship may diminish. As a Christian we must first love the unsaved person just enough to go to them and share the good news of the gospel. Then after that person has received the gospel of Jesus it is then up to them to accept it and return the love by giving their life to Christ. "Ministry is the first stage of this exchange of love." (Bell, Pg 11) .
             The second question is: Do I try to force love? Since the beginning of time God has always given man a choice or free will. We have a free will to love Him. A free will to obey Him. And a free choice to do His will. As a matter of fact God does not even force His love upon us. Anytime love has to be forced you may as well just call it rape.

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