Scripture: 1 John 3:16-24 {NLT}

16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister[a] in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.


Agape, a Greek word for love, was central to Dr. King’s theology and philosophy of nonviolent social change. He spoke of three kinds of love: philia, affection between friends; eros, romantic love; and agape, a universal, all-embracing love for others for their sake. In his 1967 Levels of Love sermon, he described five levels of love: utilitarian, like the love of master for slave; friendship; romantic love; humanitarian love for humanity in general but not individuals in particular; and agape, unconditional love for every person, regardless of race, religious or political beliefs, whether they are just or unjust, or whether they respect or hate and abuse you. He defined agape as Christian love and the “highest good” sought by the great philosophers. King incorporated this concept into the nonviolent movement for civil rights, empowering thousands of people to engage in militant, transformative direct action by accepting suffering without retaliation and returning good for evil.

Lord, help me to love like You.