What does the evidence say? | Religion

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“Therefore I bow my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom all the family in heaven and on earth are named, that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, be mightily strengthened by his Spirit in the inward man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may understand with all the saints what is the width and the length and the depth and the height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19 KJV)

I’m sure many of you know that the English word “love” is used to translate five different words from Greek. The five Greek words have very different meanings, but our language fails to accurately communicate the original intent of these words.

Is it any wonder that so many Westerners don’t understand what the greatest degree of true love is?

In Greek, the greatest form of love is defined by the word agape.

You can always identify this kind of love by the voluntary sacrifices associated with it. The greatest demonstration is of course the sacrifice of Christ to bring us redemption.

When you love with this degree, you put the needs of those you love before your own. You will find that agape love is a love that invests itself in the life of its subject.

We can identify the apostle Paul’s love for the Gentiles by these very traits.

We find the investment in verse 14, “therefore I bow my knees before the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ”.

In other words, there is always a reason why we pray and “This is why I pray”.

Then he goes on to list all his personal needs, right? Wrong. When you add up Paul’s requests for personal benefit, you get a big zero. Paul says his prayer time is consumed by asking God to bless others…not himself.

The blessing he asks God to give them is nothing less than the sum total of what is available to each of us as children of God.

Just so as not to miss the agape overflow, let’s slow down and consider the description given for verse 19 alone in the amplified paraphrase. Wait…remember to read it slowly.

“and (that you may come) to know (practically, by personal experience) the love of Christ which far exceeds (mere) knowledge (without experience), that you may be filled (in your whole being) with all the fullness of God (so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and inundated with God Himself)” (Ephesians 3:19, AMP)

By looking at the prayers you have made lately, you should easily see who or what you love with agape love. To find out, all you have to do is answer a simple question: “What does the evidence say?”

Dr. Dennis Cagle is the founder of Xaltm LLC who has been a pastor for 36 years and currently works as a church consultant. He is a former resident of McMinn County and current resident of Tellico Plains. He can be contacted at [email protected]

Dr. Dennis Cagle is the founder of Xaltm LLC who has been a pastor for 36 years and currently works as a church consultant. He is a former resident of McMinn County and current resident of Tellico Plains. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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