For The Love of God

January 13, 2022 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Kathi Woodall –

Agapeland—many of us in our 30’s or 40’s grew up singing fun songs about a magical place whose name meant “Land of Love.” We all knew agape (pronounced a-gă-pē) love was God’s kind of love.

I’m not a kid anymore; I’m thirty-… Let’s just say I’m in that age range I mentioned earlier. Is there a grown-up story behind the magic of Agapeland?

Agape-love involves reverence, obedience, appreciation, pleasure, unwillingness to abandon, and desire. The Bible teaches about four agape-love relationships; God loves Christ and us, Christ loves us, and we can love each other.

God’s agape-love climaxes in one key passage. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10 NIV). This intense passage both defines love and is the evidence of God’s love.

God created the physical world—waterfalls, giraffes, and lilacs. He also created the conceptual world—hope, sorrow, and love. Since God created love, He also defined love. Chocolate candies and heart-shaped boxes don’t define love. Jesus’ death—His atoning sacrifice—defines love.

Friend, our sin made us the recipients of God’s wrath. God had to separate us from Himself forever. However, Jesus came as the atoning sacrifice. In so doing, Jesus turned aside God’s wrath and allowed it to pour on Him. Imagine God’s wrath—piercing as nails and burning as fire—as it poured down on each of us. Before it scalded us, however, Jesus reached out and deflected the molten stream. His nail-pierced hands turned aside the wrath of the Father so it fell on Him and not us. He said, “This is love: not that our children love us but that we love them. This is love: the wrath our children deserve will fall on me and not on them.” That’s the real definition of love.

Jesus’ death and resurrection is also the evidence of God’s love. Returning to 1 John 4:9, God evidenced His love in the ultimate way; He sent His Son to die, “that we might live through him.” He gives us eternal life on account of the Son. Our life is the evidence of His love for us.

Agape-love should also describe believers’ relationships. In and of ourselves, we are incapable of agape-love. Throughout the gospels, only God refers to Jesus as agapetos, or beloved. For example, God said at Jesus’ baptism, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17 KJV). The remainder of the New Testament never used it in this context again. The usage of the phrase shifted after the Holy Spirit indwelt believers. Agapetos appears 53 more times; every use is between fellow believers.

John encouraged believers to agape-love each other. We are able to because of Jesus’ sacrificial example. John wrote a few verses earlier, we, “love one another for love comes from God; everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7 NIV). Love extended to us; we extend it to others.

God’s ways are so contrary to the ways of the world! To try to fit Him into our definitions twists and warps the whole process. He is the definition of love. He is the evidence of love. He is love. When we truly know God and His feelings for each of us, then that same love naturally pours out to others. Since He loves us in this way, no reason exists as to why we should not be displaying that same love for others. Those who are loved—let us love.

About Kathi Woodall

Kathi Woodall’s passion is to serve God through writing and teaching the truth of His Word, loving her husband, Jimmy, caring for their home, homeschooling their four daughters and serving in her church. To learn more about Kathi Woodall, please visit
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