[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:7-8
Agape love always protects. There are a few obvious ways in which this is true, such as when a husband protects his wife or a mother protects her child. But what about our love for the rest of the world? How does protection apply then? There are many people in the world that need protection. Of course God is the ultimate protector, but just as he does with so many other things, I believe he often uses believers to accomplish his work in this area. Think of persecuted believers all around the world. Many of them are being imprisoned, beaten and even killed because of their love for Jesus. If we are able to protect them, we must do so. What about widows and orphans? People who through no fault of their own have been left to fend for themselves. There are many ways we can step in and protect them. And we should always seek to protect the basic God-given human rights of anyone we see suffering injustices. But let’s not forget the scariest thing that could happen to someone – an eternity in hell, separated from God. The only protection from that is the blood of Jesus, but we can help by sharing the gospel. By declaring Christ’s finished work on the cross “to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) By proclaiming God’s offer of forgiveness of sins and eternal life to anyone who believes.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9
Agape love always trusts…always hopes. First and foremost we must trust in God and his plan for us and for others. He is always true to his Word and he will never let us down. But if we are going to show this kind of love to other people, we have to be able to trust them, too. We have to be able to hope for the best in them. That’s a little harder. Other people are not perfect and they are bound to let us down. But if we don’t try to give people the benefit of the doubt; if we are always expecting them to let us down, it will be much harder for us to show them agape love. We need to look past people’s outer facade and into their hearts like God does. Then we will see that the agape love we have to give, thanks to the agape love we have received, has the power to change people.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Agape love always perseveres. This is key. We need to keep on loving. Even in the face of ridicule and persecution. Even if we find ourselves growing tired of it. Even if we do not receive love in return and we feel like we have none left to give. We must remember that our supply comes from the Holy Spirit. If we are looking to other people for refills, we may indeed feel like we’ve run out. But if we daily seek God and allow the Holy Spirit to work through us, then our supply of agape love to give will be endless.
Agape love never fails. Even when other people do. Even when we do. True agape love will always serve its purpose. God’s purpose!
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. - John 3:16-17