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Love

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. 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. 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. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

The word “love” is found over 300 times in the King James Bible.  And if we were to study each mention, we’d probably find quite a lot of different uses of that word.  In our lives we use “love” in reference to friends, food, hobbies, God, spouses and more.  Each having a different meaning.  

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  1 Corinthians 13:4-7

The current great lie about love is the statement “love is love.”  It’s use in this phrase is to convince us that all worldly love is good.  But as anyone who has taken a hard look at the idols we place in our lives we know that isn’t true.  We, as Christians, also know that deep, interpersonal love like the love between spouses, is reserved for specific relationships.  Love, as God has gifted us, is not just a feeling or a yearning.  It’s to be a mirror of the love God shows us.

God asks us to show love for our neighbors through kindness.  He asks us to show love to sinners with forgiveness and compassion.  He gives us families to express deep connections.  And He reserves a special love between a man and a woman.

Love is one of the many gifts from God that cannot be fully explained.  It’s not just our brain firing off electrical impulses when we see an attractive person.  If that were the case it wouldn’t explain loving people who hate us.  I thank God for this big, mysterious gift of love.  And I thank Him for how much He loves us.  His love is so unexplainable yet simple.  We don’t deserve it and He will never take it away.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
30daysofpraise, Bible, bible study, Christian, Christian Church, christian encouragement, christian men, christian podcast, Christian women, Faith, Jesus, Jesus Follower, podcast, Uncategorized

God Is Love

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

I don’t think I’d be too off the mark in surmising that so much of human bad behavior stems from a need to be loved.  We seek fame and fortune to be noticed, to be loved.  We have affairs to feel needed and loved.  We engage in all sorts of sexual immorality in seeking love’s bliss.  We get petty and petulant because we feel slighted or unloved.  We gossip to draw others into our inner circle to feel important and adored.  When we feel lacking in being loved or even loving ourselves the doors open for the devil to whisper his sweet nothings to us.

It’s love we so desperately seek in so many wrong ways from the wrong sources.

Praise God that He first, created love.  How could He not?  The earth, sun, oceans, and garden were a thing of overwhelming beauty created for man to enjoy.  A gift like that can only be made out of love.  God is Himself love.  He gives Himself freely to us, even when we reject Him.  He waits patiently in this time of grace, for us to turn our eyes to Him.

There’s no magic formula or check to write for this true love.  Even when we are acting out in our most sinful ways, He gives us yet another opportunity to let Him love us.  Yes, let Him love us.  Too many of us push God away – possibly out of shame or guilt or a feeling of worthlessness.  I, myself, have stood harshly judging my reflection.  I have struggled accepting God’s love.  My past can sit like a demon shadow in front of me, pulling me into darkness.  But more often lately I’m looking at the face in the mirror asking God to help me love myself as much as I know He loves me.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

My greatest hope for my daughters is that they won’t take as long as I have to look in the mirror and know how well they are loved by God.  He will never leave them.  He won’t gossip about them or betray them.  He won’t judge them harshly.  He will love their fresh, young faces the same as He will love their old and wrinkly ones.

Love is an emotion that has drawn thousands of poets and scribes to try and describe.  It’s not a simple thing.  It seems bigger than all the other feelings we have at our human disposal.  It’s complicated and beautiful.  Just like God.