When color television came onto the scene in the 1950s, John Graham, director of design at NBC, thought of the colorful feathers of a peacock. He created a logo based on that, and in the early days the feathers would fan out as an announcer boasted, “The following program is brought to you in living color on NBC.” Though the NBC peacock has undergone renovations over time, it still remains one of the most easily identifiable logos in advertising history. If you’ve ever owned a television set, you’ve seen the NBC peacock.

Logos are Everywhere

Of course, logos are everywhere. Some of the most famous? The McDonald’s arches, the multicolored G for Google, the purple and orange FedEx symbol we see on the sides of delivery trucks, the colored rings for the Olympics, and, of course, the mysterious siren on the green Starbucks emblem. The latest news in the logo world is that the Twitter logo no longer includes its iconic blue chirping bird, and everyone is full of opinions about that!

A logo has been defined as a distinctive symbol of a company, object, publication, person, service, or idea. Companies pay designers big bucks to develop an eye-catching logo, and I’m talking hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Jesus Himself is the Logos

But where did the word logo come from to begin with? Would you believe it has biblical roots? Our English term logo comes from an important Greek word found in the New Testament — logos, which is typically translated “word.” This is the term John used when he wrote, “In the beginning was the Word [Logos], and the Word [Logos] was with God, and the Word [Logos] was God” (John 1:1).

The most important thing about us is not what we think, say, or do — it is how we love. Love is the preeminent grace.

Jesus Himself is the Word — the Logos. When we follow Him, we are marked with His love. It’s like a logo stamped onto us. When we live as Jesus did, that distinctive sign marks us as belonging to Him. It shows up at every point in our lives, our attitudes, and especially our behavior.

God is Agape; God is Love

And it’s not just any old love. It’s New Testament agape love.

Scripture tells us,

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

This wonderful word Paul used for love — agape — means “spiritual, divine love.” It’s love that comes from God alone. There are very few things in the Bible that are equated totally with God. But the Bible says God is agape, God is love. Whatever you understand about God is wrapped up in the term agape.

At the heart of this agape love is the concept of sacrifice. Agape love has been defined in various ways, but one of the greatest definitions I have found is this: Agape love is the power that moves us to respond to someone’s needs with no expectation of reward.

Now think of that in terms of how you relate to your husband, your wife, your parents, your children, your boss, your employees, your friends at church. Agape love is the power that moves us to respond to someone’s needs without any expectation at all that we will receive something back in return.

That’s the way God loves us. His love is sacrificial, poured out on our behalf. That defines the term agape. It’s the willingness to give of oneself totally, with abandon, for the good of the one who is the object of our love, not expecting anything in return, not hoping for any reward. What reward could God expect from us when He gave Himself on our behalf? His was a wholehearted, unselfish, sacrificial love.

Choose Love — The Preeminent Grace

The most important thing about us is not what we think, say, or do — it is how we love. Love is the preeminent grace. It’s as if God were saying to us, “If you could have any one quality in your life, let Me tell you which one to choose. Choose love, for that is the preeminent grace. That will help you to be what I want you to be.”

The NBC announcer used to say, “The following program is brought to you in living color.” The Lord wants to say about all of us, “These people, known by their love, are brought to you by the King of kings.” That’s a more enduring — and colorful — identity.

Love is the final measure of our faith. It’s the closest we can come to the heart of God. It’s the best way we can communicate the Logos — the Lord Jesus Christ — to the world around us. That’s the greatest trademark secret of all. We are known by our love.

 

Dr. David Jeremiah serves as senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California and is the founder and host of Turning Point. Turning Point‘s 30-minute radio program is heard on more than 2,200 radio stations daily. A New York Times bestselling author and Gold Medallion winner, he has written more than 50 books.

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