Coursing Through Our Veins

Life courses through our veins. Crimson fluid: red cells, white cells, platelets, and plasma. Our blood speeding through the labyrinth of endless channels called arteries and veins nourishes, oxygenates, cleanses, defends, and protects us. I did a little reading online about blood and was breath-taken by the stunning performance that never ends until death. I exhaled, “Truly, we are fearfully and wonderfully made!”

“. . . The love [agape] of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5b). This is the end of a sentence that begins in verse 3. In another post, I’d like to discuss the relationship presented here between trials, character, and a heart capable of receiving the love of God poised to be poured into it.  For now, let’s note the parallel between what courses through our physical veins and what courses through our spiritual veins.  The elements of the fluid called “agape” are those terms we call Christ-like character qualities. At the heart of all goodness is “agape.”

The Key Word Study Bible defines agape love this way: “benevolent love. Its benevolence, however, is not shown by doing what the person loved desires but what the one who loves deems as needed by the one loved; e.g. ‘For God so loved the world . . . that He gave . . .’ What did He give? Not what man wanted but what man needed as God perceived his need. His Son to bring forgiveness to man. God’s love for man is God doing what He thinks best for man and not what he [man] desires. . . . But for man to show love to God, he must first appropriate [accept] God’s agape, for only God has such unselfish love.”

Pause on that a while.  “If character qualities were colors,” so I began our last post, “love would be red.”  Well, yes, if it symbolizes the blood of Christ. His love is a love we needed but didn’t want.

Giving a crimson valentine taped to a box of Dove chocolates is a simple symbol that can be lovely, if behind it is something of
substance: a life poured out to benefit – doing what is needed for someone else. To love God’s way – from the love He gives us to give others.  Agape.

Consideration: You’re probably going to give a valentine to someone.  What is the “agape” substance behind your gift?  Great!  But it’s also time to pour out some more agape!  After all, your heart-shaped cup is running over!

Would love to year from some of you!


Categories: Spiritual Growth | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Post navigation

6 thoughts on “Coursing Through Our Veins

  1. Shelly Calvert

    Love the pictures! Love the article! Love Jesus! I will share agape love! Thanks for helping me consider what is behind it.

  2. Bev

    Karen, I love the definition of agape love as benevelent love, and that this love does’t always give me what I desire, but always what I need. It’s a real challenge to practice agape love with my loved ones at times, but I know by God’s grace I can. Thanks for bringing this to mind through your words. Bev

    • kltolsen

      Thanks, Bev, for your response. February is a wonderful season to reflect upon Christ’s perfect love for us and bask in it with a grateful spirit. With a full heart, I want to share Jesus with others. He’s the gift we all need. After we receive Him, we realize that while at first He was a gift we did not want, but He is now the most precious of all gifts — most wanted. Surprise! He wants me. He wants each of us!

  3. debra

    Love the parallel! Life courses through our bodies in our blood; redeemed life courses through us because of the sacrificial blood of Christ. If that courses through us, then we are empowered to live the same way as Christ and share the same agape love (benevolent love- doing what is best for others) rather than seeking our own desires. That is truly what Valentines Day is:
    “Valentinus, a courageous Christian man who lived in third century Rome. He performs secret marriage ceremonies in the woods, going against the Roman emperor’s edicts. As his arrest unfolds, he is dragged before the emperor who is furious not only at the weddings, but also because Valentinus refuses to worship Roman gods. For these crimes, Valentinus is sentenced to death. Valentinus proclaims Jesus is God’s Son and invites the emperor to believe in Him and be saved.” excerpt from the book “The Story of St. Valentine” from www.

    • kltolsen

      Thanks for your delightful reply. My post for St. Valentine’s Day will reference the origins of the celebrated day, but I do not have space to narrate. Apparently, early church history remembers three men by the name Valentinus or Valentine. It’s a great topic to research, though the historical data is sketchy. Nonetheless, we see modeled loyalty and love for God and others. Thanks for adding to our conversation!!

  4. Pingback: Practical Ways To Show Love To Your Child « Family Matters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: