To read any single daily writing on “Agape Quest” one might find it seemingly fragmented and perhaps struggle to understand how each segment relates to the main point or purpose of Agape Quest. I will explain Agape Quest in a short statement along with a couple of brief definitions’ with the hope of helping the reader understand the overall objective of these writings.
Agape: Divine Love, the Love Jesus displayed and taught in word and action. Agape is, a love that is above the normal human expression, above emotional love, above even the best form of human virtue in the area of caring, kindness, mercy, grace and devotion to others. Agape does not lessen the value of human love, it is simply more, Agape is God’s Love. Agape Quest is to search for and to attain the love of God, manifest in you and-or me, more and more.
Quest: Is a term used first in 14th century describing a adventurous journey of a chivalrous nature. A modern application a quest could be for a person or a group of people to commit to search for some illusive possession that seems more difficult to attain than most are willing to commit themselves to.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary: a pursuit, or search, a chivalrous enterprise in medieval romance usually involving an adventurous journey
Cambridge Dictionary, a long search for something that is difficult to find, or an attempt to achieve something difficult:
Agape Quest is based on the commandments and promises of the Lord Jesus Christ to love as He loved, to seek and find, and to have faith in Him. To have faith in this: what He has commanded you and I to do, we can do! To believe we will be able to be transformed into persons that possess a higher form of love in us than is humanly possible. To trust in Him to send the Holy Spirit to help us in this quest and believe that all He has promised concerning this love and grace for us is possible.
To me Agape Quest is a lifelong journey to become more loving, more and more like my Savior Jesus! A quest to become all He has called me to be, and to attain His love in me in increasing measure. I go on this journey in order to become a more effective ambassador of Him to the world I live in.
I invite anyone who would, to come on this Agape Quest with me with one promise if you truly join me on this quest: God will change you forever and you will never be the same again, that every day will be an adventure that is beyond this world!
I pray even now that the Lord would help me in this endeavor, I pray that God will help me in every way possible to attain His love and live in it more and more. I pray in advance for God’s protection from the schemes of the enemy and for the Holy Spirits strong guidance in what I say and do. It is with the grace of God that I declare that this quest can only be achieved in His power and not of my flesh.
His Holy Word says: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. (Zachariah 4:6) Oh come Holy Spirit come!
Romans 12: 2, 21 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Core Belief #1 of the Agape Quest;
An absolute resolve, commitment and confidence that God’s word is infallible in your call to love and the fact that love will never fail!
This may be a gateway life changing moment for anyone who would believe and commit to pursue living out Jesus’ command to Love (Agape). 100% commitment is the key in this quest! It is an essential ingredient for success with most things; though with commitment to the quest to live this Agape centered life 100% commitment is a non negotiable.
Total commitment to living the agape life is made of a fabric of a world changing potential with God’s promise of no possibility of failure! Two questions stand between the potential world changer before the quest begins:
1. Do you believe?
2. Are you 100% committed?
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses – only results.”
― Kenneth H. Blanchard
Agape Quest 9-4-13
To Love like God loves, means loving beyond human love with out finding fault with human love, all love is good love, yet God’s love is more! It is like the lyrics of the RR classic song You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet by Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
“I think that any love is good lovin – so I took what I could get!”
The truth is at the human level it is just like that! You are born and you learn about love from your family one way or the other, for better or for worst from your spouse, you take what they have to give. we do the best we can, and sometimes that works good and other times it plain hurts!
Although we have taken love and given love in ways that have failed in the past, God is always attempting to teach us to love at a higher level! We have all fallen short in this area, we have all been broken and have also caused some damage to the hearts of others! Be real for a change and admit it, I do, I admit that I have done love poorly in the past and been done poorly also! Can we start there at least? Just Real, No excuses, just truth in love baby!
So looking at the truth of brokenness and earnestly searching for a better way, why not listen to God instead a flawed human being like me or you? Why?
1. God is love, He is the expert and we need to “get our education from Him, He is the expert!”
2. Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith modeled the perfect Agape (love) life for us so we could see there is more to loving than meets the eye!
3. He left some instructions on how to love, what it looks like and what it is not! (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) The 8 ‘nots’ or warnings of how not to love are eye opening indicators that help us understand This: We need help in this quest!
God helps us to recognize that Jealousy is not love! So justify jealousy if you want, call it something else; however Love (Agape) is not jealous! So how does some flawed human being like me overcome jealous feelings and all the damage it causes to others? Like all of these ‘nots’ mentioned, to overcome these divine instructions, it don’t come easy, it is not even natural, it is supernatural, it is spiritual and we need His help to overcome the natural!
Love does not brag, it is not arrogant, it does not act unbecomingly! Wow, this reveals to me I have practiced some bad love to many in my life according to God’s standard! I have made a lot of excuses over the years and I am convicted in my spirit to love in a more becoming way. I need help! how about you?
Love does not seek its own, love seeks the object of their love! what does that kind of love look like? Jesus modeled for all of us to see was sacrificial love! His Love has no rights, His love lays down it’s life!
Love is not provoked, love does not take into account a wrong suffered! I grew up around people who were manipulators and just about provoked me into submitting to their will, and I am ashamed to say at some point I acted like that towards some! Although this type of intimation love is modeled as caring, it is not love! The guilt trip is not love, it is a perversion of the truth!
Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth! My broken down old ways of revealing in sin and calling it love always caused damage and I must admit it, I also must admit I was damaged by it also!
It is like most of our rocking roll anthems of the 60s and seventies lured us into thinking, lust was equal to love and our own lame excuses that we were not hurting anyone by practicing this substandard brand of UN-truth.
God’s Spirit is always willing to lead us to a place of change, a place where we can rejoice in truth and begin to operate in love, God’s way! AGAPE! Commit to these journey, come on the Agape quest, learn a new way of love starting with what Love Is Not!
I agree with the song: “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” If you have not experienced love God’s way yet!
Agape quest 9-1-2013
I am reminded of many things when I look at this picture, but mostly about how little I knew about the things I was doing in leading my family and how great God was and is as He still leads me today to be courageous in my decisions to love and obey Him. I can confidently say this: I have been faithful to be the priest of my Family as the Lord told me to be!
This picture was taken 16 years ago as I was leading my family away from church as they had known it, and beginning a season of ministry to the down and outers. We did not have money, we did not have the backing of a large church, and we didn’t even have very many people who would take this next step with us in establishing a church! All we had with us was a handful of people from the community and some college students from Southeastern (+God). Essentially I was literally abandoning health and wealth gospel of middleclass America and taking a journey with God that would change my family forever. I am in awe of my Lord Jesus Christ this morning as I am reminded by His words, that loving Him and obeying Him are synonymous!
John 14:14-16 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—
There are too many things to mention about the next couple of years; however I will focus on one thing: Leadership lessons learned that have eternal implications. When I withdrew my kids from “church as they knew it” to serve the poorest people and place them in conditions most parents would not allow their kids to experience, it was not because I thought it would help them grow spiritually; although I believe it did in many ways! I did it for one major reason, simply to trust and obey God and with a healthy fear. Yes, I had fear that my decisions would affect them negatively; nevertheless I am glad I had enough faith that God would work out the things I feared as I loved and obeyed his leading.
God has been faithful to Linda and Me, He has held our sons in the palm of His hand all the days of their lives. Doing His work to the least of them has never harmed them one bit! My fears melted away over the years and those formative years in Lakeland were a blessing to my sons who are still hard working servants of the Lord. The love of God has been planted deep in their souls and faith and courage is an integral part of who they are. I can take little credit for things God does, all I can do is point towards Him and say to anyone who is trying to overcome doubt or fear in loving and obeying God is this:
Trust God, love God, and do His will as He leads you to Lead your family and do not look at the outward appearance of things! Do not be a copy cat! don’t just do things like everyone else is doing! Ask Him what it is you should do to serve Him, do not do what men tell you to do, do as He says and He will send the Holy Spirit to help you! (Even through your mistakes!) One more thing about having courage and overcoming your fears of serving God that I know is pure wisdom: Fear God, not the opinions of people! Don’t be afraid to do something others look down on, do what the Lord says!
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Agape Quest 8-30-13
Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.
I am still reflecting on the 90’s for a couple more days and I posted this picture for today as it communicates a look of a slightly weary me, just an honest picture of that old saying, “hard work is not easy!” ha ha ha.
The late 90’s were like that for me, my old methods of working longer and harder to accomplish things were beginning to hit a wall! Long hot Florida days were giving way to the reality of an energy depleted forty something in the evening hours! I am not wining about anything, I am just saying I needed to change the way I looked at accomplishing things. I also think the Lord was trying to get my attention in this new reality! He was teaching me to trust him and be more patient!
I admit it is easier to explain this with 15 years of perspective, but it is still true, that is how God has taught me through his Word and by His Holy Spirit. Here are some great truths found in His Word that helped me:
Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
I learned God could accomplish more through me in a moment than I could with years of hard work!
The Lord would also continually affirm in my Spirit Psalm 127:1: Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
A great verse that helps my perspective on what I will or will not endeavor to accomplish is Zechariah 4:6 …‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
The freedom I have found in what I should expend energy on and not has given me confidence, my FAITH has increased as I have witnessed the Lord accomplish Great things. In each succeeding year I realized the things the Lord would lead me to do would flourish in ways as He saw fit, sometimes in things I may not have thought of! Admittedly, the things I expended energy on that were mostly my idea’s and I failed to seek God’s will on had much less success! After all, it is not about me, it is about the Lord!
Now, about the Love of God, about knowing the love of God and especially living out the Agape life: Do you want to know what all this hard work-spirit led talk has to do with Agape Quest?
People often live life with a misconception about God, a fatal flaw based on faulty logic! Many people who live a life with little or no real relationship with God often state things about God’s Love, God’s provision, and even about God’s mercy and grace that is false. They just do not know it!
The verse above from Proverbs 8:17 says it clearly if you are desiring to truly know God’s Love: “I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.
Some concluding thoughts for those who may grow weary trying to do things in their own failing strength and their own limited understanding:
Do you Love the Lord with all your Strength, Mind and Soul?
Do you seek Him Diligently?
Have You found Him?
I say this in light of a picture of a tired young guy, trying to accomplish God things! I am still loving God, searching after Him. It did not happen over night and I have not come to the end of this quest yet; yet I will say to anyone who has ears to hear, you have got to commit to the journey before you can ever hope to arrive at a desired destination!
Why should anyone expect to know God and his love when they are unwilling to love Him as He reveals one must love and seek Him?
Don’t give up, the Quest goes on! To be continued….