God's agapao love in a Christian is the active love that was shown in the Lord Jesus Christ. It was never selfish, for he put aside his own will and followed the will of God the Father, doing good to others and seeking to save that which was lost. In the King James version of the Bible, this love is sometimes translated as charity. Unger's Bible dictionary defines charity as:
Charity is agape love. It is affection, tender and passionate attachment, a sentiment in our nature excited by qualities in a person or thing which command our affection; a virtue of such efficacy (the power to produce an effect) that it is said to be the fulfillment of the law. It's absence invalidates all claim to the Christian name. It is the antithesis (opposite) of selfishness.
Rom 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
Rom 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Rom 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
Rom 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
We cannot walk in unforgiveness, envy, jealousy and strife.
Rom 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Love in action requires that we put on Jesus, his love and walk in the Holy Spirit. There is work to do and the time is short. Expect the return of Jesus and be busy doing the acts of love that Jesus would do if he were in you.
1 Corinthians 13 is known as the love chapter. Here it is in the NLT translation:
If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn't love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn't love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good to anybody.
If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn't love others, I would be of no value whatsoever.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud
or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Love will last forever, but prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will all disappear.
Now we know only a little, and even the gift of prophecy reveals little!
But when the end comes, these special gifts will all disappear.
It's like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.
Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.
There are three things that will endure--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love
We love because God first loved us. He loved us when we were lost in sin, giving us a way to come to himself. This same love we give to others and if not returned, it is an evidence that they do not have the love of God in them, or they are walking in the flesh, not the spirit. The first fruit of the Holy Spirit is love.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
I believe that we will be rewarded by what we do with the love of God in our lives.
Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Mat 25:35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
Mat 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Mat 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Isn't the love of God wonderful? Love is more than words; how shall we show God's love in our lives?
Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
Luke 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Luke 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
Luke 6:29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
Luke 6:30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
Luke 6:32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
Luke 6:33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
Luke 6:34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
We are to behave as sons and daughters of god. Anyone can react to life in the selfish flesh, we have a higher calling.
Help us LORD to show your love as a way of life in this sin darkened world. Help us Lord to walk in your Spirit and not to behave as sinful people. In Jesus I pray, amen