Richard Ritenbaugh focuses on the three "first mentions" in Genesis 22:1-2: 1.) the first mention of the Hebrew noun for love, "the son whom you love," indicating the importance and uniqueness of father-son love; 2.) the first mention of the Hebrew word for "test," "proving" or …
The outgoing concern toward other beings begins with God the Father to Christ to us. How much we love our brethren may be a good gauge of how much we love God.
Jesus twice asks Peter if he has agape love, and both times Peter can only respond that he has tremendous personal affection — he was lacking agape love.
Culture has so confused the common understanding of love that most people do not know what true, godly love is.
Jesus foretells that "the love of many will grow cold" at the end time. Is this happening right now, or is there love that is just difficult to recognize?
A Christian's foremost responsibility is to love God wholeheartedly. A decline similar to the Ephesians' loss of their first love affected the first-century church.
Most people are not aware of the motivations that drive their behavior. Are we cognizant of our own motivations? Are we analyzing their activation and intensity?
There is a direct relationship between loving Christ and doing the right works. God's love for us places us under a compelling obligation to reciprocate.
Love doesn't become 'love' until we act. If we don't do what is right, the right feeling will never be formed; emotions are largely developed by our experiences.
A native practice involves leaving a young man on a remote island with only a bow and arrows until he learns to become a man, and God does something similar.
God is the source of real love; mankind by nature does not have it. It is only by knowing God that we can have this love. Godly love is a cycle that God initiates.
David took all the persecutions from King Saul, and then later showed his mercy to Saul's extended family, he demonstrated the true essence of godly love.
Love is the first of the fruit of the Spirit, the one trait of God that exemplifies His character. Here is how the Bible defines what love is and what love does.
God appreciates when we show concern for others, developing the maturity to overlook the slights others have made to us. Love sets an example for others.
Jesus set the bar very high when it comes to love. We no longer live for ourselves, but to Christ, who commands us to love everyone, including our enemies.
We are called to take on the very nature of God, to put on the love of God. Surprisingly, We can rekindle our first love by ardently keeping God's Commandments.
God's holy law gives love its foundation, stability, and evenness, preventing it from degenerating into a sappy, sentimental feeling.
If we love another person, we like to think about him/her, to hear about him/her, please him/her, and we are jealous about his/her reputation and honor.
[Editors Note: Audio quality improves at the 4 minute mark.]
Martin Collins, reflecting on the practice of "defriending" (or "unfriending") on Facebook, contrasts this practice with Christ's love for His called-out ones, a friending with the condition that godly fruit is born. When Paul challenged the Roman congregation to produce godly fruit, he was not looking for …
Christianity has both an inward aspect (building godly character or becoming sanctified) and an outward aspect (doing practical good works).
Christ's reprimand of the Ephesian church, "You have left your first love," seems odd being said to a church that appeared so busy doing God's will.
Showing God's love to our neighbor goes beyond wishing him well but extends to actively doing him good. It means doing what will benefit him.
He who loves God must love his brother, including every fellow human being. Our closeness with God transcends the other human relationships.
Love is not a feeling, but an action—defined as keeping God's commandments, the only means by which we can possibly know Him, leading to eternal life.
We may feel sorry or even guilty when we sin, but have we actually repented? The Scriptures show that true repentance produces these seven, distinct fruits.
Works demonstrate our faith, our response to God's calling and His freely given grace. Reciprocity is always a part of our relationship with God.
John Reid, observing that people pull together in camaraderie and productivity in times of national crisis, admonishes that we must also have a transcendental goal, a vision of the finish line, in order to overcome and grow. Sacrifice and discipline rather than self-absorption come naturally when we envision a goal. The faith …
When the U.S. Congress wanted to put 'In God we Trust' on currency, the Seventh Day Adventists objected, arguing that the U.S. has never been a Christian nation.
John Ritenbaugh reveals that the valley-of-shadow imagery symbolizes the fears, frustrations, trials, and tests needed to produce character, quality fruit, and an intimate trust in the shepherd. His rod, an extension of his will and strength, serves not only against predators, but also prevents members of the flock from butting …
Jesus encouraged His disciples by promising to send the Holy Spirit to empower them for the challenges of the Christian life, making us sensitive to God.
Fellowship with God is the only antidote to overwhelming feelings of despair, doubt, and self-condemnation.
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon Paul's motivation for his letter to the Philippians, both appealing for unity and offering encouragement, reminding them that their relationship with one another was through Christ. Unity could only be maintained if they prayed for one another, exercising reasoning, discerning, and discriminating …
An irrational fear of loss prevents the development of agape love — we fear that keeping God's commandments will cause us to lose something valuable.