When Drummond Henry was twenty-three, he sat down with a group of friends before a glowing fireplace one Sunday evening and began to share thoughts about 1 Corinthians 13 - the great love chapter of the New Testament. Eventually his thoughts were published in a little book, The Greatest Thing in the World.
The Apostle Paul writes, using 194 Greek words, of the transforming power of love. His words were addressed to people who grossly confused love and sex. Eventually, his words became a benchmark that helps us understand what love really is.
Paul had a choice of using three different words, all of which are translated to love. The first word eros was something the Corinthians knew a lot about - a sensual love, the kind driven by lust that feeds the multi-billion dollar pornography market all over the world. But this word was used by neither Paul nor any other New Testament writer.
A second word was the Greek word phileo - a kind of brotherly love; and God knows we need a lot of this today. Yet this was not Paul's word of choice.
He took a word which had been commonly used by Greek writers, agapao, and put a new spin on it. He defined it in a different context, linking you to God and giving you the transforming strength to love your enemies, the unlovable, and allowing you to reach across the distance that separates you from them. The power of agape love makes you a stronger person. A song put it, "What the world needs is love" - this kind of love. Is it the kind you have? If not, ask God to pour it in your heart starting today.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34