“Love Speaks: How Do We Spell, LOVE?”
by: Carl Wesley Anderson
I would like to begin by defining the term, “LOVE” from my new book title, Love Speaks: 21 Ways to Recognize God’s Multi-Faceted Voice. [***]
We understand from Scripture that GOD IS LOVE. That’s a wonderful opening thought! He shared with Jeremiah so many years ago,“I HAVE LOVED YOU with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).
So just how does a Christian spell the word LOVE?
For a Christian only, we don’t spell LOVE, L-O-V-E. Instead, we spell it like this: A-G-A-P-E. That’s right. Agape.
This word is unique to the Christian’s understanding of God. Why?
For the ancient Greeks (and the modern world) the words that describe love include a variety of ways like friendship, or love for a worthy object, like a sports team, or a worthy person, like a spouse or a child. The revolutionary event of the cross of Jesus Christ reveals a revolutionary love that is as impacting in modern times as it was then.
“Agape is a love for the unworthy, for one who has forfeited all right to the lover’s devotion,” writes Bruce Milne. “The Old Testament has witness for this in God’s love for Israel, and in Hosea’s love for his faithless wife.
“Holiness and love conjoin perfectly in the person and work of Jesus Christ. As God, He embodies divine holiness that is separate from and resistant to all sin and evil, yet His very coming is God’s loving, gracious response to human guilt and helplessness.
“They unite also in the ministry of God the Holy Spirit whose essential ministry is the renewal and sanctification of God’s people in fulfillment of God’s purpose of love (agape).”
Revolutionary, yes? So Paul writes, “But God demonstrates His own love (agape) toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
LOVE is GOD’s LOVE, as GOD IS LOVE (also see 1 John 4:7-19).
Practical Application: Declare that You Are Beloved of the Father
This final portion of this blog is an excerpt from Section 4, the practical application section of Love Speaks.[***]
While it is true that every week, God is reaching out in certain ways to speak TO you, as a loving Father He is also speaking words OVER you. Words that help you understand that you are loved and beloved!
“This is My beloved Son” said the eternal, loving Father to His Son. And His Son in turn reveals the Father’s agape love to all who receive Him.
Jesus launched His own ministry with the Father’s personal love and voice. He called Him “My BELOVED Son.”
You are God’s BELOVED son or daughter, prince or princess of the King. Know it. Trust it. And live it.
In your prayer life, expect the Father to listen and respond to your prayers, and speak wonderful, truthful words OVER you.
Sarah Young, in her devotional book with 365 daily readings from the Lord, shares it this way,
“I am a God who gives and gives and gives. I search for people who are able to receive in full measure. To increase your intimacy with Me, the two traits you need the most are receptivity and attentiveness. Receptivity is opening up your innermost being to be filled with My abundant riches. Attentiveness is directing your gaze to Me; searching for Me in all your moments.”
In my experience I (Carl) have found I needed a new ability in my relationship with the Holy Spirit within to work together with Him in hearing His voice.
Every morning I prepare myself in both prayer and reading of the word, expecting the Lord to guide me, however He chooses to do so, and if indeed He chooses to do so on any particular day. Some days there seems to be no contact from God, and other days there seems to be multiple different contacts and thrilling moments of His voice personally speaking and confirming my path.
Try praying this every day, perhaps every morning:
“Father, I set my heart to seek your face today. I declare the truth, I am a beloved (insert the word, SON or DAUGHTER) of God. I receive your love today through hearing your voice. Speak to me above the noise of this world. Speak to me through Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Speak, Father, for your servant is listening.”
 Bruce Milne, Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief, pg. 139, InterVarsityPress, 1982, 1988.
 Sarah Young, an excerpt from March 28, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence, Thomas Nelson Publishers.
***World-wide release of the new book, Love Speaks: 21 Ways to Recognize God’s Multi-Faceted Voice