DISTINCTION BETWEEN HUMAN LOVE AND DIVINE LOVE
1) Human love is dependent on the love of the recipient. If someone is good to us, we will be good to them. But Jesus’ divine love is independent of people’s reactions. God loves us irrespective of whether we are good or bad.
2) Human love is dependent on circumstances. Sometimes, a mother warns her child to not trouble the father because he is in a bad mood. If the child tried to approach him, he would probably shout at the child. He probably was in a difficult circumstance. Circumstances determine the way we express our love. But God’s love is not like that. We can approach God at all times without worrying about God’s ‘mood’. He listens to us as soon as we start speaking to Him. This character of God never changes.
ROMANCE OF THE CENTURY
The word ‘agape’ is the Greek word for ‘God kind of love’. It was coined exclusively for specific use in the New Testament to point to divine love. None of the other contemporary writers use this word in their literature. The agape love is only used to specify Jesus’ love. This awesome and big God is incomprehensible by the puny man. The Holy Spirit enlightens our minds with God’s awesomeness and His everlasting love for us.
So, one preacher described God’s love as ‘the romance of the last century’. This great romance is stated beautifully in 1 John 4:9 and 10 as, ‘In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ John says that the place where we can understand this romance is in the fact that God sent His only begotten Son in the world so that we might live through Him.
As we conclude, let’s bear this great truth in mind. We know God’s love when we see the extent of His love for us – the bearing of our sins, the shedding of His blood and His death on the Cross. It’s like being broke, rummaging through an old jeans pocket and fishing out a Rs. 500 note. What an experience is that! Our face changes! Discovering God’s love for us empowers us similarly. We realize then that the medicine for all our wounds has been poured out into our heart through the Holy Spirit. Then we are enabled to release this love into others around us too.