Final words from Phillip Britts . . .
“It was never Christ’s purpose to bring about self-improvement. He became poor not to offer us a moral toning up, however good this might be.
The Word became flesh so that the same amazing life that broke into the world when Jesus Christ was born actually becomes realized in our own lives here and now . . .
The meaning of Advent and Christmas is thus the coming down of God’s love. This love alone revolutionizes our lives. Only God’s love, not the elevation of human souls, can effect a transformation of the world . . .
Human love depends on human character and certain virtuous qualities. A spiritual hierarchy is thus created in which each person climbs to a different height of godliness or saintliness according to his or her spiritual capacity. The love of God lays low all such hierarchy. Gifts, however spiritual, are not decisive.
What is decisive is agape, the pure unconditional love of God.”
Agape . . . not a word we hear much these days.
The Four Loves
There are four types of love described in the Bible and four Greek words to describe them:
As well-meaning and important as humanitarian efforts are, agape love cannot be mustered up by the human heart. It is not possible for us to love the way Jesus loved apart from His Spirit being in us.
Read Romans 5:5 and John 13:34 and meditate on the reality that God’s love is already in us through Jesus Christ. His love flows freely to others through us when we don’t let our self-centeredness get in the way.
There is no need to pray “Lord, help me to love others more!” when the prayer we might need to pray is “Lord, help me to love myself less!” We are the only real obstacle to God’s love being expressed through us to others.
In Philippians 2 the Word of God says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.”
Confess any self-centeredness to God today. Receive His amazing grace and let it saturate those pockets of your heart that nobody else sees — except Him.
Now. Let His love, His agape love, flow freely to you and through you today.
Farmer-poet Philip Britts was born in 1917 in Devon, England. Britts became a pacifist, joined the Bruderhof, and during World War II moved to South America. There, in 1949, he died of a rare tropical illness at the age of 31, leaving his wife, Joan, with three young children and fourth on the way.