Listen to Nancy’s answer recorded live on Moody radio’s program Mornings with Kelli and Steve.
Do I love Jesus as I love a friend? The love of a friend is different from the love of God. The Greek word for the love of a friend is Philia. This love is more of a convenient kind of friendship that does not involve sacrifice, and it can fade with distance and time.
The love of God never fades and is not based on someone’s performance. It is the Greek word Agape. 1 Corinthians 13 13:4,8 defines this kind of love as being patient, kind, rejoicing with truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping in all things and enduring through all things. In contrast, Agape love does not envy, boast or rejoice in wrongdoing; it is not arrogant, rude, selfish, irritable or resentful. None of these good things come naturally, but because of our flesh nature, the last groups are all too familiar to us.
Each of us should take a pause in reading these verses. Because the Holy Spirit lives in all Christians, we know that when God commands us to do the “impossible,” we know we can. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.“ (Philippians 4:13)
Agape love is not based on how we feel but rather on our will. We need to choose to love others as God loves us. Generally, we don’t feel like loving someone who has hurt us, but we can chooseto forgive them and to treat them with kindness.
God tells us that he can know if we truly love him by the way we choose to obey him.
John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
Jesus was clear that loving Him is a sign of your trust in Him. Disobedience is evidence of a lack of love. Therefore, to love Jesus is to willfully live in such a way that our devotion to Him is seen through our actions toward Him and our obedience of Him as we, through him can love others well.