A LOVE NOTE

Christ summed up the commandments in this – love GOD and love others!  We (believers) have a tendency to get caught up in doing the “Lord’s work” and following all the “rules” that sometimes we forget to simply LOVE.  God loves us, and that love enables us to love Him, then we are able love others.  It’s that simple.

1 Corinthians 13: The Excellence of Love

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I was reminded of this chapter over the weekend while attending a bridal shower.  Each of the guests were asked to give a bit of advice to the bride-to-be. My advice was to memorize and practice 1 CORINTHIANS 13.  This chapter makes the command of loving so much easier.  For me it made love easier to understand and apply (in my opinion).  It’s so profound, yet so very simple.

At times we can get caught up in our feelings, and as we all know those constantly change.  So it is important to keep these verses at the forefront of our minds at all times. We should keep this chapter hidden in our hearts (as God instructs us to do with all of His word).  This makes loving so much easier, particularly when our feelings are telling us otherwise and it is difficult for us to do.  

This chapter does not only apply to married couples, although I will say that I began truly clinging to these verses after getting married.  It actually applies to all believers, in all circumstances and situations.

I appreciate how Paul breaks it down into three different sections for us:

SECTION 1: It doesn’t matter how many good works and/or powerful acts that you peform – if LOVE isn’t your motive, they are meaningless.  This is a great place to  ask God to examine your heart (<-speaking to myself here too people). Psalm 26:2 ~ Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart

SECTION 2: This section explains what love is and what love is not.  This is what love looks like.  For those of us who may not have been given the best example growing up, God provides us with a very (clear) picture. I love how God does that for us!  Does this section describe you?  Does your love look like this?

SECTION 3:  This section shows us that love is changeless, steadfast, durable and continual.  Love is everlasting. Love will stand the test of time and beyond.  It is something that will outlast everything else in life and never fade away.  Love supersedes all else!  If this is what God says about love, then I definitely want to keep it at the top of my priority list!  Paul also explains that we won’t fully grasp the greatness of love here on Earth, but for those of us who are in Christ, we will know love {true love} completely one day!

I hope you all are encouraged by this little love nugget today!  It is always a good reminder for me and pray that it was for you as well.  When it is difficult for you to love, please remember that it is not done in your own power, but God’s love for us and through us that enables us to love others.  1 John 4:19 ~ We love, because He first loved us.

Love,

~ Melissa

LOVE

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ~ Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,  does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

My Thoughts:  The “love” chapter of the Bible…..most people know about it and some even have it memorized, but my question today is…are we doing it?   People use the word love so loosely these days.  My kids say they “love” their video games and their shoes.  I’ve heard adults say they “love” someone, because they look good or make them feel a certain way.  Or what about people who claim to have fallen out of love?  Is that really love?  My guess is that people use this word without truly understanding it’s meaning.  Love is not a feeling, but an action word.  Love is not an emotion, but a duty.  Love doesn’t just happen, it’s a choice.  Love is not “I’m gonna do me” (which seems to be a common phrase these days), but instead sacrifice.   Love is sacrificing your own wants and desires for the betterment of another person.  I spent many a night meditating on this chapter when I first got married, and continue to study it again every once in a while.  I think it’s a great way to remind ourselves of what God’s definition of true love is.  Do you love your spouse?  Your children?  Your parents and friends?  A great way to know is to read the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians and ask  yourself, “does what I’m doing line up with what God says?”

The world says one thing about love, but God tells us something much different.  Loving someone does not mean that you will always feel warm and fuzzy inside towards them.  Let’s remember our Saviour and what He did on the cross for us.  He LOVED the world so much that He GAVE Himself for us.  He suffered a horrible death for YOU and ME.  In the garden at Gethsemane, right before His death, Jesus was in anguish.  He was in anguish over knowing that He was about to be crucified on the cross and how painful it would be.  His emotions were telling Him to not go through with it, but His LOVE for us was so great that He continued with the plan.  We didn’t deserve what Jesus did for us, but His LOVE wanted the best for us.  Now that’s true love!

In the midst of all of the hearts, flowers, jewelry and chocolate today, I’d like to encourage you all to remember the true meaning of LOVE.  Happy Valentines Day!