Agape Love

May 25, 2015

Today’s Reflection

THE AFFIRMATION OF GOD’S LOVE is the most healing and nurturing message you will ever receive. Why, then, is it sometimes so difficult to accept God’s love personally? One reason may be the understanding and experience we bring to the word love. We use the word so casually that it has lost much of its original meaning. …

The Greeks used three words to describe three distinct relationships, all of which we translate as love. A look at these Greek words will help us distinguish between the love we may have experienced and the love we receive from God.

The first — phileo — describes a kinship type of love — the love that exists between parent and child, between brothers and sisters, or between close friends.

The second — eros — describes conditional love based upon attraction or personal benefit. We could call it “I will love you … if you love me … if you are attractive to me … if the relationship will benefit me in some way.”

The third — agape — describes unconditional love — love that is freely given and unrelated to our deserving it or earning it. It is a self-sacrificing love that reflects total commitment to the one who is loved. The night he was betrayed, Jesus emphasized the significance of the agape relationship by declaring that the greatest expression of love is to lay down one’s life for another.

– Robert Wood
“Day Four”

From pages 31-32 of Day Four: The Pilgrim’s Continued Journey by Robert Wood. Revised edition copyright © 2004 by Upper Room Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Think of a time when you have experienced agape love. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Isaiah 6:3, NRSV

This Week: pray for graduating seniors. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Augustine of Canterbury (May 27).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2015, a ministry of Discipleship Ministries | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestRedditTumblrWordPressShare

{ 0 comments }

Where Are You, God?

May 24, 2015

Today’s Reflection

IN THE DARK NIGHT of my soul, I look for you, God, searching through darkness until my eyes can bear no more. I look for you, God, until everything around me seems emptied of meaning.

I look for you in every person, until I discover that you transcend them all. I loook for you in water, fire, earth, air; and I see the great work of your hands. But you are not there. And I am exhausted.

Where are you, God?

In the painful silence, a joyful whisper comes from deep inside me: “I was with you all the time. Unseen, I work. Unheard, I speak. Even in absence I am here.”
–Adrian Agachi [Bucharest,Romania]

devozine, March/April 2015

From devozine, March/April 2015, the magazine for teens by teens. Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

The next time you feel alone, remember that God is with you. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Acts 2:4, NRSV

This Week: pray for those who are displaced from their homes. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Bernardino of Siena (May 20).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2015, a ministry of Discipleship Ministries | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 5 comments }

Slowing Down

May 23, 2015

Today’s Reflection WHEN WE LOSE SOMEONE or some activity, we slow down to a speed that feels safe. Each step is a cautious effort. Someone once told me that he had experienced the loss of his mother as a descending darkness. He said he had to live as if he were driving at night. He […]

Read the full article →

The Passion of Christ

May 22, 2015

Today’s Reflection I’D JUST FINISHED a breakfast meeting with some friends in midtown Manhattan. It was a glorious fall morning when I said good-bye, hopped on my bicycle, and pedaled up Madison Avenue toward home just north of Central Park. Rush hour was rushing and dreams were flying all around me as I passed 57th […]

Read the full article →

Time for Stillness

May 21, 2015

Today’s Reflection MONASTIC CHANT of the Psalms appeal to many today who find the gentle, rhythmic singing a soothing introduction to meditation. Recordings of chant sell in great quantities, and monasteries are receiving a record number of guests looking for a different pace of life. The Psalms draw people in because they represent prayer uttered […]

Read the full article →

Living a Deeper Christian Life, or a Broader One?

May 20, 2015

Today’s Reflection OVER THE COURSE of my life, I have often heard Christians refer to their desire to “live a deeper Christian life.” I have said the same and sought it. But in the last 20 years or so, I have begun to respond to another desire within me: the desire to live a broader […]

Read the full article →

Deeper

May 19, 2015

Today’s Reflection GOD, SINK ME into the depths of your Spirit, Beyond words Beyond creeds Beyond theology Beyond logic To the Truth beyond truth To the Love beyond love To the You beyond you. … Make a spiritual spring Well up in my soul Bringing from your boundless depths Your boundless truth and love. –Josh […]

Read the full article →

Encountering God As Mother

May 18, 2015

Today’s Reflection IN JESUS, GOD BECAME PERSONAL and real to the human family. Jesus introduced us to a God who is not distant and disapproving but who desires intimacy and freedom in a mutual relationship of love and commitment. He summed up this relationship in the beautiful name he called God, Abba. Abba is best […]

Read the full article →

An Act of Hope

May 17, 2015

Today’s Reflection MANY CHRISTIANS RECITE A THREE-PART PRAYER that starts with an “act of faith,” affirming, “Lord, I believe in you.” It ends with an “act of love,” avowing devotion for God and charity toward neighbors. As a hostess I’ve latched on to the descriptive phrase that’s nestled in the middle of the prayer. It […]

Read the full article →

Where Strangers Enter and Become Friends

May 16, 2015

Today’s Reflection HENRI J. M. NOUWEN defines hospitality as “the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy.” The world we live in is sometimes hostile, sometimes indifferent, often lonely and confusing. So many people feel isolated from friends, family, and God. As Christians, we […]

Read the full article →