The bottom line in defining agape, the biblical word for love, is love in action

Brotherly Kindness and Love

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:4-13

Key Verse: 2 Peter 1:7

…and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

The last two characteristics that Peter challenges us to add to our lives have to do with our relationships with the people around us.  You will recognize the Greek word Peter uses for brotherly kindness: Philadelphia.  In the New Testament they described their relationship with other believers in the church in “family” terms.  It was very common in the churches I grew up in to hear church members refer to each other as brother or sister.  The idea is to support and take care of each other as family.  The church was meant to be a safe haven to find what we all long for: acceptance, forgiveness, and understanding.  Are you showing a strong brotherly kindness to your church family?

            Finally, Peter caps all the characteristics off with the Greek word “agape.”  We translate this word with love, which is a weak translation in my opinion.  We love pizza, cars, and movies.  Love has been watered down to a poor version for what agape was in the New Testament.  The bottom line in defining agape is “love in action.”  It had a real sacrificial aspect to it in the early church.  People loved one another in ways that showed by what they did more than what they felt.  Be sure to add love to your journey with God in relation to the people around you, but make it show in practical ways.

Father, thank you for my church family.  Help me to be supportive and kind.  Remind me to put my love into action.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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