“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV).
A war once broke out and a king lost his throne because someone thought he had found love. The story goes, “In the course of time, “Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David. (2 Samuel 13: 1-2). Ammon pretending to be ill convinced his father King David to send Tamar to take care of him. Once alone together he raped her. But almost soon after, he “hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her” (vv 15). Not long a war broke out led by Tamar’s brother, Absalom, who sought to avenge his sister’s abuse, culminating in the overthrow of David (2 Sam 15).
Ancient Greeks knew of six different types of love. There was Philia which meant friendship between equals. Storge meant the type of affection as seen between parents and children. Philautia meant self-love. Xenia was guest-friendship like being hospitable. Then there was Éros which means “love, mostly of the sexual passion”. Finally, Agápe which means “the unconditional love of God for man and of man for a good God.”
In the above story, Amnon was certainly taken up with Eros, and once his sexual passion was fulfilled there was no love anymore for Tamar. On the contrary we later find that even though Absalom would rebel and overthrew his father, David, he still loved him. King David directed his General Joab to “Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake” (2 Sam 18:5). After learning he had been killed in battle, “the king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son” (vv 33).
David’s love for his son was Agape love, which is unconcerned with the self and concerned with the greatest good for another. Agape love isn’t born just out of emotions, feelings, familiarity, or attraction, but from the will and as a choice. It is a choice, a deliberate striving for another’s highest good, and is demonstrated through action. God set the standard for Agape love in sending Jesus to die for us while we were still sinners. This is the type of love which we should all emulate in our personal relations.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, creator of heaven and earth, as your love for me unconditional, I pray, I may share and live it in my personal relations, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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23/02/2024 - 24/02/2024 All day
“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them” – (Deuteronomy 28:2).
Every now and then one chances upon someone despising the importance of being enterprising. To some being enterprising can be equated to the love of money and it’s pitfalls (1 Tim 6:10). Others see it as being overtly worldly. Yet, far from it, being enterprising is clearly an avenue God has given believers to raise resources for their well-being and promotion of the rich Gospel.
The Bible is full of enterprising characters who were used mightily of God. Abraham was apparently a good rancher that he “become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold” (Gen 13:2). Job was hated by Satan who sought to destroy him because “He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area” (Job 1:3).
The Lord Jesus Christ was born and raised in the house of Joseph, the carpenter (Mathew 13:55). Carpenters do not create works of beauty to donate for free. To prosper they must run sustainable enterprises which pay taxes and make profit. The Apostle Paul would often rely on enterprising people to support him in his ministry. One of his worthy converts “was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14).
Though Paul was a law don once he went to the mission field, other than cling to his titles by burdening his hosts he often dabbled in tent making to support himself. In Corinth he teamed up with an amazing couple, Priscilla and Aquila, and “because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them” (Acts 18:3). This couple run a successful tent making business that enabled them support mission work.
And then of course, there is the noble woman of character, as told in Proverbs 31, who “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings.. She sees that her trading is profitable…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (vv 13-25).
When the body of believers is filled with such enterprising people it generates resources important to sustain God’s work. Further, the work of God is then supported without being dependent on sources that might compromise the mission, as sometimes we see! Be enterprising!
Prayer for today: Lord father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, you who has given us the gift of enterprise, today I pray to use this gift to take care of my needs and support the expansion of your kingdom on earth, this I pray in Jesus’ Name.