Featured Article:
"Love: The Greatest Gift of All"

      As we get ready to exchange gifts with our friends and family this Christmas, let us not forget the reason for the season: love.  Love is the one word that best captures everything that Christmas stands for.  In the Bible, there are four different types of love that are illustrated with each one serving a different purpose.

      First, there is Eros, which is a Greek word that refers to a physical, sensual love that is mentioned in the Bible with regard to marriage.  It is often referred to when we talk about romance and falling in love with someone. The first example of this was when God created Eve for Adam in the Garden of Eden to be lifelong partners that would be held accountable to each other and to God.

      Next, there is Phyllia, and this is refers to brotherly love and friendship.  This is found in our relationships with people we consider to be friends or fellow believers.  Since these relationships develop throughout our lifetime, they can become stronger than even our family ties.  The importance of this love can be best conceptualized by the greatest commandment given to us: “Love thy neighbor as thy self”. 

      Then there is the type of love known as Storge, which according to the Greek meaning is the love found in family relationships.  This is the natural love and affection between mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. While this exact word may not be found in the Bible, it is clear when we read Bible stories about Jacob’s love for Joseph, Noah’s love for his family, Abraham and Isaac, etc.  This definition does not need much explanation as we all have either had or are still involved in these types of relationships.

       Last, but not least, is the Agape kind of love, which means sacrificial, unconditional and selfless love.  This is best described by God’s love for us.  This is the highest form of love we can imagine.  God sent his only son, Jesus Christ, to be born as a man in this world and then to be crucified on the cross, as a scape goat for our sins.  This amazing demonstration of God’s love for you and me embodies agape.  For God to choose to experience the life of a mortal being on the earth and suffer such a horrible death for us, is unlike any other love that exists in the world.

      As I write this article, I pray that we can show even a glimpse of this love to our fellow men during this season as an extension of God’s love.  Growing up in America, I am familiar with all the holiday traditions of Christmas and how they sometimes take the focus away from the original meaning of the season.  Regardless of where you live in the world, you too can also celebrate Christ’s love for all of us.  It is important to set aside time and money to help those in need.  This is something God has constantly been reminding me while getting ready with all the festivities.  I want to challenge you to see where you can be a blessing to someone in need!

      In conclusion, we read in I Corinthians 13: 13-  “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”  Remember love is not just an emotion, love is requires action too.  We see the perfect expression of  Agape Love when Christ came into this world and then sacrificed his life for us, in order that we may be saved and live eternally with Him. [John 3: 16] We need to constantly examine our lives and see where we can spread the love of God to anyone and everyone we come across.  I challenge each one of you to diligently and prayerfully seek a greater revelation of the love of God for us.