The final week of advent is the week of Love, of Agape. This is the transcendent Divine love perfectly demonstrated by the relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is the love that seeks the good of another. This is the love that is sacrificial. This is the love that someone who is greater shows to someone who is lesser.
What Is Love?
In honor of this week of Love, these are my favorite Love Scriptures:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
– John 3:16
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
– Romans 5:8
Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
– Romans 8:34-33
“…giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
– Colossians 1:12-14
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
– 1 John 3:1
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
-1 John 3:16
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. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
– 1 John 4:9-12
Advent: Love In Action
All these verses have one thing in common: action. Agape creates action because agape has an object in sight. God loves humanity, therefore He sent a Redeemer. If we love our brothers and sisters, we last down our lives for them.
When we love God, we seek to increase his fame and glory (which is a product of seeking out and doing righteousness). When we love one another, we choose to focus on each other rather than ourselves and seek each others’ good instead of our own. And we do both out of love and obedience to God.
Love has at its core an object. The week of love reminds us to ask an important question: is the object of my love myself or God? If the answer is “self,” then ultimately our love will turn inward. But if the answer is God, then we are focused outward and love multiplies.