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Bruce Cook: "What is Agape Love and How Do I Apply It?"

Bruce Cook
Feb 14, 2019

Steve ShultzIntro from Patricia King:

Dr. Bruce Cook is an apostolic and prophetic entrepreneur, business consultant, professor, author, and networker who has empowered many in the Body of Christ to pursue and fulfill their dreams.

He is passionate to see the Spirit of God move and for the Kingdom of God to advance. He has hosted many round-tables, forums and summits, bringing leaders of significant influence together. I have sought his wisdom and counsel on Kingdom projects and have known him to be amiable, supportive, humble, and always helpful. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

Patricia King
Founder of Patricia King Ministries

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God is love, and you and I are created in His image. Love is the essence and the apex of who God is, and is the basis for everything that He does along with His foundations of justice and righteousness. Ps. 33:5 says, "The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love." Ps. 89:14 adds, "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before You."

That means everything that happens on the Mountain of the Lord (the 8th Mountain, Mt. Zion, Heaven) stems from His love. That also means that everything that we receive from the Lord during our encounters with Him will radiate with His love! 1 John 4:18-19 says, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us."

"Agape love is the kind of love that enables us to forgive, to reconcile and to pray for our enemies and for those who despitefully use us, abuse us, and persecute us."

1 John 4:7-12 (NLT) states, "Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us."

Rom. 5:8 (NLT) adds, "But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." The MSG version of this verse reads, "But God put His love on the line for us by offering His Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to Him."

Eph. 1:4-5 (NLT) explains, "Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure."

In Eph. 1:3-6 (MSG) reads, "How blessed is God! And what a blessing He is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in Him. Long before He laid down Earth's foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love. Long, long ago He decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure He took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of His lavish gift-giving by the hand of His beloved Son."

Wow! God's love for us is intentional, deliberate, premeditated, extravagant, eternal, unmerited, unselfish, sacrificial and unconditional, and contains or possesses both healing and redemptive qualities and attributes. And, it's free for the taking. Now, that's what I call a great deal!

Eight Greek Words for Love

There are eight Greek words used to express various aspects of love: agape, phileo (or philia), storge, ludus, pragma, philautia, eros and philanthropos. Agape is the word used for God's love, and means selfless love—love that is unconditional and focused on others. Phileo or philia refers to an affectionate, warm and tender platonic love. It makes you desire friendship with someone. Philia (or phileo) means fondness, brotherly love, or comradeship. Storge means to be affectionate, especially between parents and children. Ludus is a playful love, or so-called "puppy love," between those newly in love or infatuated.

Pragma is longstanding love, as between mature, married couples. Philautia is self-love, and can refer to either healthy self-esteem, or narcissism. Eros means sexual or erotic love. And philanthropos means the love of mankind, or humanity, and is the root word for philanthropy. (To be clear, in this article we are strictly focused on agape love as the model and standard for Christian living and treatment of others.) (Photo via Unsplash)

God's Love is Agape Love

So, what else does God's agape love look like? We find in the Scriptures that agape love is patient, and is kind, " does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" (1 Cor. 13:4-8 NIV). This places agape love in a very elite company as most things in life, and in the universe, fail at some point. "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor. 13:13).

We will be able to quickly discern whether something came from the Lord by looking at whether it is characterized by and saturated with God's agape love. For example, if I were to receive a strategy for my family from the Lord during my time on the 8th Mountain, it would be full of these attributes of His love as found in 1 Cor. 13:4-8. The implementation of this strategy from the 8th Mountain would result in my family experiencing the patience of the Lord through me, the kindness of the Lord through me, the humility of the Lord through me, the truth of the Lord through me, the forgiveness of the Lord through me, and so on and so forth.

Can't You Talk Louder, God?

The 8th Mountain of Transforming Love

As we spend time with the Lord on the 8th Mountain, we will be transformed to become more and more like Him in His love; we will possess the nature of His agape love! Just as the things that come from the 8th Mountain are characterized by and saturated with God's agape love, so will we be! Our very essence will be full of His agape love. Everything we think, do, say, and feel will begin to overflow from the deep wells of His agape love inside of our spirits to bless everyone around us.

"Love is the essence and the apex of who God is, and the basis for everything that He does, along with His foundations of justice and righteousness."

We will become champions and conveyors of the agape love of God! Everything that the Lord leads us to do will become unique messages of His agape love to the world through us. The nature of the agape love of God in us is to overflow to others to bless them, which is the foundation for giving as God intended. The ultimate example of giving that flowed from the agape love of God is found in John 3:16, which says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." Just as God expressed His love to the world through giving us His only begotten Son, He will also express His love inside of us to the world by leading us to give to others—at times sacrificially.

The Apostle Paul spoke about agape love in his epistle to the church at Corinth. 2 Cor. 5:14-15 (NIV) says, "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again." Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines compel as "to drive or urge forcefully or irresistibly." So God's agape love is irresistible to us, and when we model that same love to others, it becomes irresistible to them through us.

Love is not a feeling; it is an action. Real love has healthy boundaries, just as God does. Eph. 4:15 tells us to be "speaking the truth in love." That takes humility, wisdom, discernment, courage and tact or diplomacy at times. 1 John 3:16-18 (NIV) says, "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." " without works is dead..." (Jas. 2:26).

Agape Super Glue

Col. 3:12-14 (NIV) says, "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." So love is a kind of super glue that adds a "stickiness" factor in our relationships and helps hold things together.

Rom. 13:8,10 goes a step further and adds, "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law...Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." Our love for our fellow man and our restraint from harming a neighbor are further proofs and conditions of agape love.

Love of the brethren is also a proof that the agape love of God dwells in us, and that we are His disciples. Jesus, in His final discourse to His disciples before His betrayal and crucifixion, prayed for them in John 17 and said, in part, "I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one—I in them and You in Me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me...I have made You known to them and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I Myself may be in them" (John 17:22-23,26).

Finally, 1 Pet. 4:8 (NIV) says, "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." The NLT writes, "Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins." And the MSG says, "Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything." (Photo via Pixabay)

Agape love is the kind of love that enables us to forgive, to reconcile and to pray for our enemies and for those who despitefully use us, abuse us and persecute us. It is love that stands the test of life and the test of time. So what are you waiting for? Get your love on and never take it off or let it go! Love is often messy, and it doesn't always look pretty or neat and orderly, or like we expect. It sometimes comes in unusual packages and broken vessels and strange places. Learn to recognize it, steward it, and practice it as often as possible and as much as possible with as many people as possible. Your life may depend on it. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

Bruce Cook, Ph.D.
Kingdom Congressional International Alliance (KCIA)

Dr. Bruce Cook maintains an active schedule of ministry as well as being a tent-maker in business in the marketplace, and is a sought after speaker at conferences, seminars and churches, and is a spiritual father to many sons and daughters in the Body of Christ. He is a commissioned apostle and prophet in the Body of Christ, and is the co-founder and chairman of Kingdom Congressional International Alliance (KCIA), the founder and CEO of Venture Advisers Inc., the co-founder of, the Pacific Northwest HUB Leader for Global Reformers in the Courts of Heaven, a Prelate with POTUS Shield, and serves on several boards of directors. He and his wife live in the Seattle-Tacoma, Washington area, and are surrounded by many friends. He became a Christian in 1964 and was ordained in Christian ministry in 1985 and commissioned in 2002, 2006 and 2015.

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