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The Meaning of Agape
Theme of the week: Leading with Love
Wednesday, January 2, 2013

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Key Bible Verse: Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8) Dig Deeper: Ephesians 4:1-6

Agape is unconditional. It is a decision, a matter of will. The key principle is to think of agape as a verb, not an emotion. Agape love is the foundation for the best and noblest relationships that humans are capable of. It is deliberate and unconditional love that is the result of choices and behaviors rather than feelings and emotions.

In that regard, agape love is about the values we embrace as a way of life, and it is a determination to behave in a certain way that stems from our regard for other human beings, regardless of how we may feel about them. For leaders, demonstrating agape love is about behavior, not emotion. This is a critical distinction that explains why agape love can be the motivating force of a successful organization.

Agape love can exist in the most hostile environments—even work! Agape can stand the test of time. In fact, with agape love, you can dislike someone or be frustrated with them and still treat them with love. Agape love will promote healthy relationships among employees and their leaders, allowing people to perform at their very best, all the while withstanding the pressure and tension that can exist in a high-performance organization.

—Joel Manby in Love Works

My Response: How can I cultivate agape love in all my relationships?

Thought to Apply: To love we must give of ourselves, of our time, … of whatever it takes to show love; for giving is fundamental to the biblical idea of love.—Jay E. Adams (author)

Adapted from Love Works (Zondervan, 2012) by permission, New Year's Day: The One Year Book of Encouragement (Tyndale, 2010). All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Lord, in the situations where I am a leader, help me to submit my pride and ambition to you and lead with love for those who follow.

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