THE LOVE OF GOD
Many people today have had their sense of love shaped by the Disney princess. Who fall in love at first sight and live happily ever after. But that is not reality. We as parents, family and friends must be deliberate in training our children, young men and young women, yes, and even ourselves, the importance of words and especially the word love. Love is an action word. To say we love someone with our words and not the action is an oxymoron; that is a self-contradicting situation. We cannot love and not act because love gives of itself.
God says when a person speaks, though they speak as angels, but do not show love, it is like someone clanging a cymbal without any rhyme or reason. Many have been fooled by these sweet talkers who were only making loud clanging sounds with no intention of being truthful. God is truth and He has sent His word of truth to set us free from the deceitfulness of people.
God says there are some who are prophets, gifted with the talent of giving insight and may understand mysteries. They may even have a high level of knowledge or have the gift of faith to heal and move mountains. But if they do not demonstrate God’s love, they are nothing. Some may even have a deep concern for the poor and give much and possibly their lives for the poor. But if it is not from a position of love, it will profit them nothing.
I Corinthians 13: 1- 3 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.
Love endures for a long time. It enables us to remain kind to those who may be responsible for the hurt. God is patient with us though we are sinners. He is kind to us and did not credit our sins to us. Jesus paid our debt and took our punishment. We who love must endure long with those around us even when they are not kind.
Love does not envy, crave for those things that belong to another, hold grudges, become bitter or harbor resentment. Love is quick to forgive, quick to show goodwill, and to be reconciled. God does not hold grudges. He reconciled us back to Himself at a great cost of His Son Jesus. While we were still sinning against God, He forgave us. Those who love God are given a ministry of reconciliation to bring those who are lost to God, even though they may still be in a problematic or distressing life. We are to forgive others as God, for Christ’s, sake forgave us.
Love does not behave rudely, offensively or disrespectfully. Love does not oppress others so to make one’s self look better and does not look for ways to take advantage of others. Love does not try to provoke others, or pick a fight, to have an advantage or to have things go their way. Love does not think evil of others; it does not accuse or believe the worst of people. God’s love for us caused Him to humble Himself and send Jesus for us. Jesus became a man and experienced our pain, hurt and death. God remembered we were made from the dust and could not save ourselves. The Mighty and the Strong gave Himself for the weak and the lost. He came that we might have His abundant life; to heal our sickness and disease. We, who are Christ followers, will have the love of God in us to enable us to show compassion, forgiveness and mercy to those who are undeserving.
Love does not delight, celebrate or cheer evil or injustices. God is merciful, kind and full of grace He forgives sin. But God will judge the guilty, those who refuse His pardon through faith in Jesus. Love rejoices and celebrates when truth prevails over lies. Love empowers us to believe and trust people and have hope in them. This love is willing to endure long and to help others. God has shown His love as He waits patiently for all those who will one day believe in Jesus. We too must be committed to truth and not turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to injustices. We too, must be patient and pray for those who do not believe hoping to see a repentant heart.
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.
Love never fails because God is love. God is faithful and true. It is God Who defines love by Who He is.