Friday, June 23, 2017

And The Greatest of These......

Love has been on my mind lately.  How easily the word slips off the tongue. How easily we use it for everything in life, but how we really don't understand love's impact.
My thoughts took me to read 1 Corinthians 13. I recommend everyone read it, but here some verses that stood out to me:

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NLT).

"Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13, NLT).

These verses describe to us unconditional, immovable, agape love, love that comes from the Father. My heart is overwhelmed with that love. It doesn't stop there though. We must love our enemies.

“Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.
 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.
 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
    I will pay them back,”
    says the Lord.
20 
Instead,
“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
    If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
    burning coals of shame on their heads.”
21 
Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” (Romans 12:14-21, NLT)

Luke 6:32 (NLT) “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!

Wow....tough one huh??  To reflect that kind of love to those who we view as enemies...to be that Christ-like example. God loves us right where we are....can you find it in you to love those around you right where they are? I'm not saying it's easy, but it can be done when we foster a Christ-centered focus. 
  
Now in this time, when love seems to be something so misunderstood, let’s reflect God’s character and cultivate a culture of a love that will last forever.  

Just some thoughts.....


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