Divine Love (Agape)
Augustine of Hippo
You are good and all-powerful, caring for each one of us as though the only one in your care.
Bernard of Clairvaux
Why should not the creature love His creator, who gave him the power to love? Why should he not love Him with all his being, since it is by His gift alone that he can do anything that is good? It was God’s creative grace that out of nothingness raised us to the dignity of manhood (or womanhood); and from this appears our duty to love Him, and the justice of His claim to that love.
Love is not blind; that is the last thing that it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind.
There is no sin, and there can be no sin on all the earth, which the Lord will not forgive to the truly repentant! Man cannot commit a sin so great as to exhaust the infinite love of God. Can there be a sin which could exceed the love of God?
Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering. The love of God did not protect His own Son.
Richard B. Hays
The content of the word “love” is given fully and exclusively in the death of Jesus on the cross; apart from this specific narrative image, the term has no meaning.
John Jay Hughes
The deepest source of Jesus’s joy . . . was his relationship with his heavenly Father. At every moment of his life, in every circumstance, Jesus knew that he was deeply loved by his Father—that he was, as we might say, the apple of his Father’s eye. Every day Jesus realized anew that wherever he might go that day, with whomever he spoke, in whatever situation he might find himself, he remained in his Father’s loving embrace.
“That My Joy May Be in You,” Now You Know Media Blog, May 7, 2012,
He loved us, not because we were lovely to him, but to make us lovely.
God walks “slowly” because he is love. If he is not love he would have gone much faster. Love has its speed. It is an inner speed. It is a spiritual speed. It is a different kind of speed from the technological speed to which we are accustomed. It is “slow” yet it is lord over all other speeds since it is the speed of love.
Frederick M. Lehman
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell.
The question of performance-free love transcends ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status. “Am I forever loved for who I am? Is the background elevator music to our hearts.
God loves you just as you are but too much to leave you that way.
My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.
The primary purpose of creation is that God wishes to bestow love and teach love, so that creatures can share in tfcne blessedness of divine life, of loving and being loved.
To be fully known and fully loved is the most healing gift one human being can give another.
Love ever gives,
And ever stands with open hands,
And while it lives it gives.
For this is love’s prerogative,
To give – and give – and give.
The boundless life that God lives in himself … is complete, inexhaustibly full, and infinitely blessed…. The good news of the gospel is that God has opened up the dynamics of his triune life and given us a share in that fellowship.
James Bryan Smith
Many people live with the assumption that God’s love is conditional. Our behavior, it’s assumed, determines how God feels about us. Consequently, God’s love is constantly in flux. It’s as if God were on a kind of swivel chair, looking at us and smiling when we keep our minds, hands and hearts pure, but the moment we sin God turns his back on us.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Agape is disinterested love. Agape does not begin by discriminating between worthy and unworthy people, or any qualities people possess. It begins by loving others for their sakes. Therefore, agape makes no distinction between friend and enemy; it is directed toward both.
God walks “slowly” because he is love. If he is not love he would have gone much faster. Love has its speed. It is an inner speed. It is a spiritual speed. It is a different kind of speed from the technological speed to which we are accustomed. It is “slow” yet it is lord over all other speed since it is the speed of love. It goes on in the depth of our life, whether we notice or not, whether we are currently hit by storm or not, at three miles an hour. It is the speed we walk and therefore it is the speed the love of God walks.
As we are increasingly caught by love, our usual standards of efficiency will take a beating. . . . There are points where I may need to become a little less job-efficient if I want to be more loving.
Augustine of Hippo
You are good and all-powerful, caring for each one of us as though the only one in your care, and yet for all as for each individual.
John McQuiston II
We know that there is an enormous power inherent in each of us, at every moment in time, to experience the unbounded love and deep joy which is potentially our inheritance.
Always We Begin Again: The Benedictine Way of Living, 1996, Morehouse, p. 80.
The secret is that God loves us exactly the way we are .. . and that he loves us too much to let us stay like this.
Still Looking for inspiration?
Consider checking out our illustrations page on Divine Love.