VERSE OF THE DAY: ~1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
Paul in this expose’ on love gives a mix of sixteen traits- eight of what love is, and eight that love is not. First, let’s start with the eight things Paul says that love is not or does not. Love does not envy, some might say love is not jealous, could this mean that love is glad to see good things come to others? Love does not parade itself (boast) or put oneself in the limelight. Love is not arrogant or proud (puffed up); bragging or comparing oneself to another is behavior showing love’s absence. Paul says love is not unseemly or rude, likely because love is unselfish (not seeking its own). Love is not provoked, so it doesn’t have “buttons” to push. It does not think evil (keep account of wrongs). Lastly, Paul says love does not greet, rejoice, celebrate or take joy in wrongdoings. Whew, the negatives are done! Now we can look at what love is and does.
Love is longsuffering, meaning slow to anger or patient. Kindness means full of service to others, gentle, shows oneself useful or acts benevolently, it is the spirit behind these things that actually determines the kindness. Love rejoices in truth, meaning it shares in welcoming truth. To bear all things is more than being patient, it actually means to cover or shield by warding off or even concealing. This signifies an intimate concern to see one through struggle or difficulty. Love has faith by believing all things in other words love believes in and for God’s created value of someone even when they fall short or don’t see it yet themselves. Love hopes (actively awaits) for the fulfillment of God’s in-birthed purpose for another. Enduring all things is to actually partner with and bear the load with someone; even if I fall behind, for them to realize God’s power and potential for their life. Lastly, love never fails. This means it never lowers oneself but holds the standard and doesn’t fall or buckle under pressure. Rather it calls the other up into God’s potential.
PRAYER: “Father I call upon You now with the understanding that You have a greater purpose and plan for us all, a plan that we may have never fully known. I ask You Lord to give grace and empower us with Your love. I ask You to transform me into Your love because it is beyond me in the natural. Thank You most of all for You have always loved me, and I receive Your love now, so that it will flow through me into others. In Jesus’ name Amen.”
VERSE FOR FEARLESS LIVING! ~ 1 John 4:16-19 “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 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.”