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Daily Devotionals

Day 15 – Issue 20

todayMay 1, 2015 2

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Be Still Know

1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT

‘Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.’

Many years ago I read CS Lewis’ The Four Loves (Geoffrey Bles). Here Lewis identifies how love expresses itself in four distinct ways; empathy, brotherly love, eros and agapeor unconditional love. I remember reading at a time when erotic love was uppermost in my mind. Lewis argued that a man often wants a woman as he wants a cigarette; once he’s smoked the packet, he then throws it away. Sadly, his prophetic description of a thoughtless throwaway society has come true.

As the years have passed, eros has dulled somewhat, and as for brotherly love, I’ve never really done well in the area of long-term friendships, and know of it by description rather than experience. The danger here is that I might be in pursuit of an ideal rather than reality. Yet, empathy grows stronger year on year as my increasing inability to watch newsreel from our war-torn, refugee-strewn world testifies. I am prone to deep gut-wrenching heartache and many tears flow. Fortunately the Desert Fathers described tears as the purest form of prayer, so I console myself that I pray a lot.

Then there is agape. This unconditional love now appears to me the most profound and essential aspect of prayer. To love beyond the bounds of duty and simply because I can love, is challenging. It reveals the purest evidence of the reality of God, and so while faith may be no more than a fiction and hope the conceit of a narcissist, love is evident through the patient acts that go beyond reason.

Our greatest need, we are told, is to love and be loved. I am more up for being loved than loving, since it is costly and tests every aspect of my character and philosophy. Loving is God’s way, and not because it is somehow sweet and encouraging to love. Love is the currency of God’s kingdom and perhaps the only means of communicating a message of salvation in a world blinded by fear and hell-bent on self-preservation.

QUESTION: How well do you do with agape love? Are you able to love without determining the conditions?

PRAYER: Lord, help me to live each day fuelled by hope, by faith and love. 

Written by: Miriam Emenike

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