Three Fountains of Love

“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” (I John 4:16)

God being love, He is the source of love for the fountains of love. This fountain with God’s love as its source has three heads identified as the heart, the conscience, and faith.

The meaning of the word “love” needs to be established before considering its source. Agape is the Greek word translated love. It speaks of full loyalty to God and boundless good will to people. The Greeks had various words for love. Phileo  was used for brotherly love. The Greek word eros spoke of physical or sensual love.

At the time of the New Testament there was no Greek word adequate to express the love of God. They took a little used word that appears only four times in classical Greek writings and gave it a new meaning, Agape. It is the selfless self-giving love of God. There is nothing physical or sensual about it. Love as used in this regard means to desire and devise the best for others.

“We love Him because He first loved us” (I John 4:19).

Once we love Him and know how He loves us, we are well on our way to knowing how to love one another. He loves us with all of our faults, frailties, and failures. How are we to love others? As He loved us.

* Fountain head number one to flow with love is a pure heart. In the Hebrew language used in the Old Testament there is not a word for mind or brain. To understand a word in Hebrew, it is proper to define it in association with words with which it is linked.

Pure comes from the word katharos, meaning clean as opposed to dirty. A “pure heart” belongs only to the person made right by the right relationship with Christ.

“Out of the heart are the issues of life.” (Prov. 4:23)

Pure means not double minded. It was a word used to describe purging an army of all potential traitors.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart.” Literally, He said happy are the pure in heart. You will never find happiness apart from having an undivided mind, that is, God controlled thoughts. Only a pure heart produces love for Christ.

* The second fountain head is a good conscience. The Greek word used in our text and translated “conscience” is suneidesis. It literally means “a knowing within.”  What is programmed within is the critical issue. To have a good conscience it must be programmed by God’s value standard, the Bible.

Our English word conscience comes from the Latin con-scienta, meaning joint knowledge or co-knowledge, knowing together with. A conscience is a poor guide unless it knows the Word of God.

* The third fountain head is genuine faith. Genuine means without hypocrisy. Are you living on a pretend faith? Faith produces works. Faith is consistently expressive. Is your faith a mirage?

The test of your faith, is does it prompt obedient action? If what you call faith doesn’t, it isn’t faith it’s froth.  It is a fake religious front.

Make certain your three fountains flow freely with love. Therein is joy.