“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NIV
Dear Heavenly Father – Please fill us with your love. Help us to love others and to love ourselves the way you love us. Please plant this word deep within us and grow it into branches of your kingdom. – Amen
Love – This world needs love. Love has the power to transform, unite, heal, cast out demonic forces and accomplish the will of God. Just one simple thing. Love.
Yesterday we studied how love has the power to save us. Love is the power. But what is love?
I grew up in an abusive household that went to church. Sounds like a contradiction. But as we read yesterday – without love it is possible. My family tried to love each other – with the knowledge of love that we were able to obtain. It was not true love – godly love – actual love. It was a cheap substitution the world offered. How does anyone who is rejected but told it is love, hated but told it is love, and unloved and told it is love, get drawn to God when God is love? Grace! Of course.
And then once drawn to God, how do you relate? I tell you, as a child and young adult, I couldn’t relate. I walked away. I could not accept this kind of love, nor did I understand it. Now, that I have come back to the Lord, the first thing I told him was, I will need you to teach me about love. It has been a difficult journey and I still have so much farther to go. Because the power in Christianity is love. The gospel is love. Everything about a relationship with Jesus and God’s overall plan and will for mankind – is love!
Until love is perfected in me, I must continue to study and work on understanding, accepting, and giving love.
Above we read the New International Version; let us read a couple other versions to make sure we really understand these words:
“4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NKJV
“4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. 5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. 7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. 8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a APMC
Love is patient, longsuffering and suffers long – God is love, and as such he waits for us. I wandered away and come back. The whole time God’s heart hurt and ached – He loved me and wanted me back. Love has to be longsuffering in order for God to wait on us and not give up on us. He knows the end and knows many will not ever turn to Him, yet He still hopes we will. I have learned about this longsuffering part quite a bit with the lessons God has been teaching me.
God loves us; do we love God with patience and longsuffering? When our answers to prayers do not come as quickly as we want, or when His promises are not manifested in our lives when we want, or when His ways aren’t our ways – do we love the Lord with patients and longsuffering?
God made us and loves us; do we love ourselves with patience and longsuffering? Sometimes change is slow – sometimes we are not as quick to catch on to what God is saying to us – do we extend patience to ourselves? God isn’t finished with us yet.
Love is kind. No version used any other word. It seems obvious that love is kind – but in our society where cruel jokes are meant with love, is it really that obvious? Is there something you can do this week to show extra kindness, godly kindness, to someone else? In the midst of racial tensions, global pandemic, and a sinful world, is there a way to be kind to everyone we meet? Only by grace and through the love of Christ.
God loves us; do we love God with kindness? I honestly never thought about being kind to the Lord – and I think I have been. It is definitely something to think about.
God made us and loves us; do we love ourselves by being kind to ourselves? Do we show mercy to ourselves?
Love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy; it does not envy; is not boastful or vainglorious; it does not parade itself; it does not display itself haughtily; it is not puffed up; and it is not proud or conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride). Pride comes before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). Lord help us remain humble!
God loves us; do we love God humbly with reverence and respect? Do we come to God with entitlement and tax the grace of our Lord Jesus or do we understand that our blessings come from Him and we do not deserve His favor and love?
God made us and loves us; do we love ourselves in humility? Are we going through the self-care actions (that are shallow) and proudly posting them all over social media – ‘look at me, doing some self-care pampering’ while neglecting taking care of our bodies (the temple of the Lord) with healthy food, exercise and love?
Love does not dishonor others, behave rudely, and it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. In this day and age, I have experienced the fake knock-off version of love that dishonors. I love you they say and then ghost me. Or they say they care but are running around behind my back making me look foolish. That is a bit obvious, but what about when you get into a fight with your love? Do you go around telling everyone? So now their reputation is destroyed? It is ok to tell one person, like a best friend and/or accountability partner, to get encouragement and prayers. But what about posting it on social media?
God loves us; do we honor and love God? Do we honor God with obedience, with actions, with the way we behave, and by being a reflection of His love?
God made us and loves us; do we honor and love ourselves? Do we dress in a way that shows self-respect? Do we care for our body, soul and spirit? Do we live with integrity even when no one can see us?
Love is not self-seeking, does not seek its own, and does not insist on its own rights or its own way. Dear Lord, help us love the sinner and not the sin. I have spoken of the different principalities which have flooded over the world in the last 6 months, so this is not a new concept. The spirit of selfishness had already flooded over the world years ago. Selfishness is the root of most modern sins – people want something and they want it now, even if it’s someone else’s spouse. Even if it is multiple lovers (meaning the cheap broken worldly version). True love is self-sacrificing, not selfish.
God loves us; do we love God unselfishly? Do we treat God like a genie in a bottle, like He is here only for our whims and selfish desires?
God made us and loves us; do we love ourselves unselfishly? There is a self-care movement across the world and I am all for taking care of myself and treating myself once in a while. But the memes and messages coming from it are over-indulging selfishness of pleasures and not actual self-care (like taking care of health, body, mind, soul and spirit). Another message coming from is very “oh poor me, therefore I deserve” and in love there is no pity and no ‘I deserve’. Someone once pointed out how some people will do anything for pity – it is because when we are pitied it feels as though someone care for us – it feels like love. IT IS NOT LOVE. We must love ourselves, as we love God and as we love one another – but do not get caught up with the cheap substitute the world has to offer.
Self-care is nothing without God – God is the only thing that can care for the deep broken parts that have been broken and wounded. A fancy bath, a little indulgence, maybe even a mani/pedi is not evil in and of itself. But indulge in the love of God and let Him teach you His ways – let Him love you and heal those deep parts that bubbly bathtubs cannot clean. Getting pretty on the outside cannot make those deep wound pretty. Alcohol cannot heal a broken heart. Only love can – and God is love.
What is the point of having a relationship with our Father, and Jesus Christ, if not to love? Heavenly Father, we need your love – move inside us and heal us and help us learn the deep love you have for us. Help us to learn to love you back. In the name of Jesus –Amen.
If you don’t already, and today you would like to, have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**
Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ Love one another
~ Watch and Pray ~
Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13 NIV