I need this message more than anyone else I know. I pray that this message might move you and transform your heart in some way to give the gift of love like Jesus had for us.
Most Christians know these verses about love:
4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
Jesus displayed all of these characteristics. He was patient and kind, He watches over us and forgives us of every kind of mistake we make over and over again. He is not envious, and He is not jealous in the sense that He wants or needs anything else from anyone else, but only His role as part of the Godhead, He pursues us with a passionate love for His bride because He does not want anyone to take us away from His kind of love because that was part of His mission to restore love upon this earth. Jesus was not boastful, proud, or haughty because He took the form of a bondservant and was completely submissive and knew who He was. That’s why He was able to say with boldness and declare in front of the temple that He had come to fulfill the Scriptures in Isaiah. He was blunt and honest when He came. He is not rude and He does not act unbecomingly. His love is not self-seeking, He actually came to fulfill what the Father required of Him. He is not touchy, fretful or resentful and He actually warns people against being fretful. Some of His last words were “Forgive them, they know not what they do.” He did rejoice at injustice and unrighteous, but He rejoices when right and truth prevail. He bore up under anything and everything that came and was/is ready to believe the best of every person, and His hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and He endures everything without weakening. Isn’t that nice to know that He believes the best out of you, that He thinks highly of you. He sees you as His treasure.
Isaiah 59:19 says:
So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.
Jesus became that standard. Why was He that standard? Because He had the Agape, self-sacrificing unconditional love, which is talked about in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
A standard was something an army raised up in battle and I think it was to signify who they were and each army had a symbol. You can do some more research on that of what you want.
So as we look at these verses more closely, take time to examine your own heart and see if there is anything where you need the Holy Spirit to help you work on so you can be more like the image of Christ. How else will they know us unless we are Christ-like examples?
Love endures long: Fellow blog followers have read my previous posts on endurance. How much would you be able to endure, and would you be able to go through while still being patient and kind? I’m going to break this apart into going into detail more about patience and kindness and summarize at the end with endurance.
Love is patient: Would you be able to wait at the doctor’s office for two, or three, or maybe four hours? Would you be able to wait 3 hours in traffic? Would you be able to put on hold for an hour and a half? I know it seems like I am going to extremes here, but Jesus was extreme so we are called to be like Him so I want to exaggerate on purpose. The world is patient for things that they really want like staying in line overnight for 6 to 12 hours for Black Friday Sales, or even waiting in line to for concert tickets and to get the best seats for the artist. If people can show that much enthusiasm for worldly things, then how much more enthusiasm should we show for Godly things? I know I get frustrated on the phone if I have to wait for 5 to 20 minutes.
How about waiting for healing or an answer to prayer? You’ve waited over 10 years for your loved ones to be saved, or a long time for that healing or financial breakthrough. How long would you be willing to wait? Patience and long suffering is a fruit of the Spirit. Now this is just a theory, but I believe one of the reasons that the thief on the cross was able to enter Paradise without water baptism, was because the thief on the cross had fellowship in Christ’s sufferings when he realized that he was a sinner. It’s just something I came across when I was thinking about the Scriptures. Most people are patient to a degree, but they cannot do it without grumbling and complaining sometimes and even with myself I often have to catch myself and ask, are you grumbling and complaining? Are you patient? If you need help in this area ask the Holy Spirit to help you.
Love is kind: The word kind means “friendly, generous, and nice” and even some cases “gentle”. This is the primary characteristic trait people usually see when you are a Christian. They usually tell you how sweet, and how nice you are. But what separates you from the world and unbelievers? Is that fact that you can endure whatever circumstances and still remain patient and kind? That’s why these things were put together. There is a movement going out called Random Acts of Kindness, and I don’t know if it was started by Christians or not, but it is not just acts of kindness in themselves that set a Christian apart, but suffering a long time with patience and kindness. Take for example you have a painful disease such as fibromiyalga, or multiple sclerosis, or lupus, or any other long term life affecting disease that causes a lot of pain. Maybe you even might have vertigo and occasional dizzy spells. Would you be able to tolerate it at it’s worst and still bear with it and be patient and kind, or would you be grouchy, complaining, or wallowing in self-pity? Take for another example you are a caregiver and you have given your life up to take care of a needy person, would you be able to maintain patience and kindness without complaining? I know that God has promises for healing, but I think for those people that are suffering with diseases, which are not part of God’s will and they should never give up on the promise, but they will have to get to the point where they say, “If you don’t want to heal me right now, then that’s ok, I can wait.” Some Christians look down on people that suffer physically for their problems saying that they don’t have enough faith to get healed, or that they are operating out of sin and unforgiveness, but sometimes it is that God is developing the fruit of longsuffering or being patient so it is not completely their fault.
Love is not envious or jealous: Do you crave what other people have? Someone once said that the two primary things that motivate the stock market are fear and greed. I am assuming that you are beyond the point of wanting someone else’s clothes, car, house, or job because those things are for worldly people, but do you crave other people’s anointing? Do you desire where they are in their ministry and what they may be doing, and haven’t gotten there yourself yet. I have posted a youtube sermon called “God made you unique”, and for that reason I want to express again that we are each individual creatures with a distinct and definite purpose. So to crave what other people have is not meant to be from God. The only thing that we should be craving that someone else had, is what Jesus had, and that is the Holy Spirit, but even with the Holy Spirit, the gifts and calling are unique to each person. God has a unique plan for each one of you. Sometimes people even crave other people’s healing, and other blessings. Your blessings are unique to you, and the more you give the more it will be returned to you.
Love is not boastful, vainglorious, or does display itself haughtily and not conceited (arrogant, inflated with pride): When you are boastful, vainglorious, or haughty it means that you have issues with pride, and pride comes from soul issues, that you have not laid at the altar. Ask yourself this question, if someone pays you a compliment, do you let it get to your head? Because this is a sign of pride. Paul said we should boast in Christ, and I believe he also mentions boasting in sufferings for Christ’s sake. Pride leads to a person’s downfall. lucifer fell because of his pride. We as Christians, even pastors may think, “Oh, I don’t have any pride,” but when you keep going on and on about the success of your ministry or the success of how God’s using you, or anything where you lay credit to yourself, then you can see that this is an issue of pride in your life, and it needs to be laid down at the altar, and be repented for. If you have issues in this area ask the Lord to help you lay down this area of pride in your life, for the Bible does say, “those that are humbled, will be exalted.” We all need to be like Jesus in this area. He was so obedient to the Father that He laid down His life. He washed the disciple’s feet, and took on the role of a bondservant. This a characteristic trait we all need to have. We need to stop bragging about ourselves because we are nothing without God, and God made us who we are. I’ve seen people, and they don’t realize it in themselves, that think they are living a Christ-like life but you see them bragging about what a difference they’ve made in other people’s lives and I harbor no resentment against them, but I pray that even they can see where they cannot see it themselves. Lord, help each one of us with this today.
Love is not rude: We know that the world can be rude, with foul language, and hand signals, honking, rude driving behavior, but we as Christians are supposed to know better. It says not to behave unmannerly. How many people do you know that when you say “Thank You”, they say, “You’re Welcome”. Sometimes, they say, which is the rudest thing you can say to a person besides nothing else at all, is “Uh-huh.” I think it also becomes an issue to be expected to be thanked in some places because true modesty is about doing things without receiving a reward, and even if you are not thanked. Jesus did what He did on the Cross for the people, and aside for some of the disciples, the crowd was not appreciative. It is more than actually saying “Please” and “Thank You”, but it is the way you treat people who are in service to you. Do you treat them with respect? I can remember one time I was at a restaurant, and it was after New Year’s, and they asked what my resolution was, and I explained, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, but I was tested on that very resolution that night, and I failed because, the salad came out too early, and I didn’t have time to finish my meal. Everything was at once, and the manager was nice, but I kind of felt like I was a hypocrite, talking about the “love verses” and not acting out of love. We have to often catch ourselves in the act of behaving rudely. Some people behave rudely and they are also mean, and unkind. Jesus was neither of those things. He had to be careful because the throngs were pressing up against Him, and they were pushing Him aside, and He still showed graciousness instead of rudeness. Lord help us at all times not to behave rude or unbecomingly.
Love does not seek it’s own rights or it’s own ways: We often see people talking about women’s rights, civil rights, and things of that of that nature, and that is good to stand on principle if it is for a greater purpose of mankind, but when you are pushing your own agenda. You can’t have that it’s my piece of pie. You can’t do that it belongs to me. It’s mine, It’s mine, It’s mine. This is self-ishness. If you are an only child, and when your first younger sibling is born, you end up sharing everything. You share the same toys, the same food, the same parents, which leaves less time for one of them because, siblings often compete for attention, especially when there is two. This was the case with Jacob and Esau. They fought for attention and blessings, and there was a sibling rivalry that lasted generations. If instead you said, here’s mine, take mine, what’s mine is yours. I used to think that God was mine, and I didn’t want to share Him, especially when I was a believer, but that was before I knew about the Body of Christ as one body. How many times, do we stand in the grocery store and let other people go in front of us. I remember one time I was not feeling well in a grocery store. I actually felt like I was going to pass out. There was a woman waiting there for her father, or her family, and I got in the line and said to her, “I was here first” and basically pushed my way through. She was so mad at me and I didn’t know her, but I repented for that and I prayed for her because I knew I wasn’t showing Christ-like love to her and was being a bad example. But this taught me that along with suffering long, enduring without weakening and not seeking my own rights, is something that we need to prayerfully consider as Christians.
Love is not touchy: I split up touchy and fretful/resentful for a reason. Women you know what I am talking about? We can be pretty touchy monthly. Maybe husbands know more about this than women. Women can be fine, some women, for about 3 weeks, and the fourth week they interrupt like a volcano, and you do not know where it came from. Touchy can also be moody. It means going from one extreme to the other. Bipolar disorder is a disorder of moods, and in some cases it is different, but for people with no history of mental illness, there is no reason why they should be screaming at someone. Sometimes certain medications these days can affect, how moody and cranky you are, but I don’t know how many people will take this into consideration. Our soul consists of our mind, emotions, and will. We control what we think, and what we think controls what we feel, and what we feel controls our choices if we are led by the soul, but to be led by the Spirit, we surrender our thoughts to God, and think about things pertaining to God, and our emotions to God, to the point we will be able to make wise decisions. We are supposed to be stable, and sober minded. The more you are intimate with God the easier that this becomes.
Love is not resentful: Have you ever seen Eeyore the donkey on Winnie the Pooh? Some Christians behave like that, so down cast and sad because they have become bitter and resentful. It starts with the seed and then it grows and grows and grows until it bears bad fruit. Don’t let your heart become bitter, let it become better. I’ve done already a post on forgiving others and receiving forgiveness so for the sake of time and space I will not get into that right now.
Love is not fretful: Being fretful, means being full of fear. When the disciples were in the boat and the waves were crashing in the sea, Jesus told them not to be afraid. He told them to fret not many times in the Bible. What does it mean? It means to fully trust God, and it means that you can still feel fear but do it anyway. People have many fears, and I will talk about one of the ones that has become the most difficult for me. That was the fear of walking. Something so simple that people take for granted. I was not able to walk some years ago and had to relearn how to walk, and then sometimes because of weak muscles and balance issues, even though the doctors said there was nothing wrong, I was not able to walk because I had let fear come in my mind. I started having panic attacks. I have come to the conclusion that if there ever comes a time when I am not able to make it somewhere God will provide a way out, and I have not fallen yet. To read the full the story on that you’d have to read my biography if and when I ever write one.
Since I am already at 3000 words or close to it, I’ll have to continue on another time….but take some time and meditate on the things I have said, and I’ll continue some other post(s) on the subject. This was a very difficult area for me to examine myself in after I learned about in Bible Study. I had to take time to really examine myself and look at myself, and you kind of have to watch everything you say and what you do because God is watching you too. So are others, and to be able to completely love like Jesus did would be to exhibit self-control and repentance in certain areas of the life. I know I am not perfect, but I desire to be like Christ, as I encourage you all to do as well. The world is waiting for us to show what Christ is like to the world.
I pray for all of us, to receive Christ-like loving attitudes, that can change and shake the world into a revival. Let the heart of a every believer be changed, into more and more resembling your love. Let us be like you. Let all that I have said not just be head knowledge, or a nice read, but let it cause a heart transformation, not only in myself, but in believers of Christ, and unbelievers too, so that they can fully know how much You loved them to die for them, and how You rose from the grave to have evidence, of the living life that they have. Let us not get to that place, where we have done so many things for You, but then You say that You never knew us, Lord.”
In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,