Every day, each of us can choose to look at what God’s Word says. When we hold God’s Word in mind and act on it, we are renewing our minds. One key to renewing our minds is living God’s love. God’s love is different than human love. Let’s look at what this love is, how it is different than human love, and why we live God’s love. When we live the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation with each other in God’s family, we are showing forth a love that ties and binds us together and attracts others who also want God’s love.
So, what is the difference between God’s love and human love? The Bible speaks of human love and brotherly love (philia and philadelphia in Greek); it also speaks of divine love, or the love of God (agapē). Any person can love with philia love, which is “friendship.” However, agapē love is so much more. God’s love can only be manifested by those who are born again of God’s spirit. It has a strength and beauty above any other type of love that ever existed. As part of the new birth, we were given this love of God spiritually, which we bring into concretion by renewing our minds and imitating the example of our heavenly Father and His beloved Son as they loved us and others. We can love each other in God’s family, and we can show this love to others.
In John 13, Jesus Christ gave his followers a new commandment. Soon they would be able to love one another in a way that had never been possible. And he told them the impact it would make.
A new commandment I [Jesus Christ] give unto you, That ye love [agapaō, verb form of agapē] one another; as I have loved [agapaō] you, that ye also love [agapaō] one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love [agapē] one to another.
Loving one another with this spiritual love of God became fully possible on the day of Pentecost, when becoming born again of God’s spirit was made available. Agapē love was manifested first and foremost by God, Who is love (I John 4:16), and then by His Son, Jesus Christ, who always did the Father’s will. And now we manifest it! We can love God and one another with this same kind of love. I Corinthians 13 shows us what this love looks like when manifested.
I Corinthians 13:4-6:
Charity [agapē] suffereth long [is long-tempered], and is kind [good, gentle]; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly [has a concern to do things properly, such as good manners], seeketh not her own [is not selfish], is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.
Showing God’s love, we practice patience and are kind; we aren’t selfish; we display good manners. And we’re not thinking evil, but rather, we are endeavoring to think only good of others according to God’s Word. Human love, philia, doesn’t always line up with these characteristics, but God’s love certainly does! And we can live this love.
When we live God’s love with one another, it unites God’s believing family and draws others who also want God’s love. Our human families are made up of many parts—father, mother, sister, brother, grandfather, grandmother, and so on. When we’re born again, we become part of God’s spiritual family. We are sisters and brothers in this family of God with Jesus Christ as our big brother and God as our heavenly Father. It’s easy for others to see us living God’s love with one another because we demonstrate genuine care to each part of God’s spiritual family. God’s Word tells us in Colossians 3 that living God’s love is the bond of perfectness.
And above all these things put on charity [agapē, the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation], which is the bond of perfectness.
Agapē love is the bond of perfectness. It binds; it holds tight. This love ties God’s family together and shows others the limitless beauty and strength of God’s love. Others see how we love and care for one another in our spiritual family, how we carry out what Jesus Christ instructed his disciples to do in John 13:34 and 35. They see how connected and united we are. Some will want to become a part of God’s family. What a powerful impact this love has!
Living God’s love with one another and toward others is one step to renewing our minds. We’ve seen what God’s love is—it is divine love, not human love. It is the love that God Almighty loved us with and gave us so that we could love Him and others as well. In showing God’s love we practice long-suffering, kindness, unselfishness, good manners, and we endeavor to think only good of others. We want to live God’s love because God’s family is known by His love and this love wins others to God. So let’s live that love, being powerful witnesses to the world as we hold God’s Word in mind and act on it.