For the people that didn’t see my first blog posting here is the link –
To recap – I briefly introduced a comparison of Jesus portraying love like it mentions in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and how we can incorporate those qualities in our life as a means of self-examination.
Now I will continue where I left off, and I pray that this blog posting will touch your hearts because I think it is an area we all need to grow in.
1 Corinthians 13:5-8
(Love) -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].
8Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].
Love takes no account of the evil done to it or it pays no attention to a suffered wrong – It was very interesting that God challenged me in the same area that night I posted the last sermon. I am not going to go into what happened, but it was a small thing, and my actions showed that I hadn’t yet learned what I was preaching through blog, but at least I was aware that this was an area where I was failing to meet God that night and I was able to ask for forgiveness in that area. When I think about this passage, I think about two people in particular. One is Jesus, who I mentioned before, and the other one is Paul.
Here is Paul in the Message translation talking about the woes of sufferings he had to endure from 2 Corinthians 11 –
3-27I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather.
28-29And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches. When someone gets to the end of his rope, I feel the desperation in my bones. When someone is duped into sin, an angry fire burns in my gut.
How many of us can say we even have been through all that and Paul’s anger was not against those other people, but he was angry that still people would not believe the reason why he was sent.
But no one takes the place of Jesus, and what He went through for us. We get a traffic ticket – we blame the cop. We get into an accident we blame the other driver. Imagine all those women that are being raped and abused everyday and the torture that they have had to go through and if it weren’t for people like Joyce Meyer and Paula White showing them that through Christ we can learn to forgive to that level. To pay no attention means to not even consider it. That’s why in Romans 8 it says, “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that is about to be revealed in us.”
Love does not rejoice in injustice or unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail: God is a God of Justice. When people were looking at the Casey Anthony trial, there were varying opinions and people were taking side, and the news was spreading like wildfire. People were looking for justice to prevail. You may ask, “how can God take sides?” That’s a part of our limited understanding of God that we can comprehend with our minds, but as children of God, we are His favorite ones, so He will always take the side of the favorite one, but we have to have compassion on the other people as well, and pray for God to give them grace, and a second chance because we too were once sinners, yet He died for them as well. When Barabas was chosen instead of Jesus, the world made it’s choice, and it was the last chance and the final call for the Jews to come to repentance, but because they didn’t and God knew they wouldn’t Jesus was laid up on the Cross be a slaughtered lamb for the sacrifice. He did it out of His mercy and Grace and for the sake of Justice to see that all the wrongs would be made right.
Sometimes Christians see things happening around them to wicked people and they think, “Oh they deserved that.” It’s sad to see that even in churches, there are Pastors who are sinning and we blame the media for picking on them and singling them out when in fact they were the ones sinning. This was a topic discussed in one of our Bible studies. The world has sort of twisted justice to take the form of social justice and civil rights to the extreme where they are trying to get unrighteousness to be justified. Some of the things that they are doing and even if they are Christian, only with a repentant spirit and realization of God’s jealous love for them, will be able to see what true righteousness and justice is all about. God’s kind of justice and righteousness is different because is based on the truth, and that Truth is solely based on God’s Word and revelation of the Holy Spirit.
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes: We have it so easy in America and in developed countries, where we have luxuries at our disposal. Even the internet is a click away. We did not have to struggle the same way that the first century Church did, and maybe that’s why we’re not seeing the same kind of Revival and Power in the Church because people have settled for Microwave Christianity. Just 30 seconds to 5 minutes and you’re done. No more waiting for the stew to boil and wait on the Holy Spirit. We are caught in a cycle of do, do, do, and less be still and know because we are so caught up in our jobs, and our daily ‘idols’ and ‘gods’ that we refuse to see God for who He truly is and what He has called us to do. So if we have a headache, take some tylenol. If we have physical pains take painkillers and go see the doctor. We would rather go see the doctor then go see God, the Great Physician and Healer. When Asa was diseased in His feet, and He did not seek the LORD. Here’s the passage. I think it’s important we take a look at it.
11 Note that the acts of Asa, first and last, are indeed written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12 And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians.
Who is to say that if king Asa had sought the Lord in the time of His malady instead of turning to the physicians, then the Lord would have had mercy on him, and healed his feet?
So to get this verse to take it to another level and correlate it back to love. How much are we willing to do for love? How far are we willing to sacrifice for love? Whether it be love for God or love for neighbor. We find it easy to sacrifice when it comes to love for our self, but actually when we sacrifice out of love for others, it takes it to another level.
We are called to love no matter what the cost. But are we doing that? Are we loving no matter the cost? I sometimes have this struggle that I want to show Agape for other people, but sometimes because of the physical limitations of my body, I feel that I am not equipped enough to handle whatever needs to be done, so in essence I stay in my comfort zone, and that’s a dangerous place to be in. We are to go and get out of our comfort zones. How many times have you tried to go to your neighbor or kids down the street and minister the gospel to them? What have you gone out of your way to love someone and do something for them?
This love, love for God should bear up no matter what happens. Let us all strive to reach that kind of love in our lives.
Love believes the best of every person- This is a very nice thing to know that Jesus believes the best out of us, and that He wants to see us succeed and prosper in all that we do, say, or think. But are you pointing out other people’s flaws instead of looking at the best of them. I think this is a flaw of human nature, that people tend to look at other people and see what’s wrong with them, instead of believing the best of every person. We should look at every person and think that they are a too good to be true story in progress. Even when telemarketers call, do we have this kind of love, not to think that they are pushy, and unscrupulous and greedy, but actually to see the best in every person? Anne Frank said, “I think basically people are really good, down at heart.” Anne Frank was a young girl who died in a concentration camp during the Holocaust and she wrote a diary of her life in The Secret Annex. Most of us under terrible and abusive circumstances would refuse to believe the best of every person. We would be bitter and resentful. Some people might think that it is being naive, but actually it is the opposite. The Bible says we are to be cunning as serpents and as innocent as doves. This takes wisdom.
Love’s hopes are fadeless under all circumstances – This means that even if you don’t have what you desire right now, you still believe and hope in the Truth of God’s Word. Hope is a desire or expectation for a certain thing to happen and it is supposed to be fadeless. I actually have a funny story about my experiences with hope. I sometimes go by the expression, hope for the best, and expect the worst, but that is a contradiction in terms based on the definition. So sometimes I get on the scale, and I say, “I expect that I have gained weight, but I hope that I have lost weight.” Then I get on the scale and then I lose weight and I am so “happy”. Do you know what that was there? That was false hope. That was hope based on circumstances meaning that my happiness is dependent upon the weight on the scale. True hope means that whatever goes on, whether my weight goes up or down, I will not lose my joy. Joy is not dependent upon circumstances. Circumstances means things going on around you that you have little or no control over. As Christians we have hope in our salvation, and this means no matter what happens we don’t lose that hope. Hope also means to trust or to anticipate. We are to trust Jesus and anticipate good things for our lives. That’s why God says His plans for you are not to harm you, but to prosper you, but to give you a future and a hope.
Love endures everything [without weakening] – This one really got to me. Try lifting a 200 pound weight without weakening. Tall order right? Well spiritually we are supposed to be athletes and soldiers and we are supposed to endure without weakening. Hebrews 12:11 has a good verse on the subject, “No discipline is joyful, but is grievous and painful, but in the end produces peacable fruits of righteousness to those that have been trained by it.” When you discipline yourself it is like you are chastening yourself, but that produces righteousness after successive trials, of going through obstacles. Soldiers have to go through tremendous and vigorous training and that makes them stronger, and stronger to the point that even the weak one becomes strong. A team is only as strong as it’s weakest player so as the Body of Christ, we should be strong enough to endure whatever comes our way. The Bible calls us to pray that we be able to endure the time of trouble, so that we can be strong in that day. Jesus says whoever endures to the end (endures in His faith), will be saved. It means not giving up, even when things are hard and difficult, even when obstacles come your way. There is so much God has in store for us, if we could only open our eyes and see.
8Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]- This is the best one. The best way not to fail God and to fail His tests is to be consistently acting out of the fiery passion of Agape love that God has for us and for His people. The reason why this kind of Agape Love, never comes to an end, is because it is carried to eternity. In the rest of the passage in 1 Corinthians 13 it says that you can prophecy, speak in tongues, but you don’t have love then you are nothing but a sounding brass and clanging cymbal. This kind of love covers a multitude of sins, and if you have this kind of love then you can fulfill the law because the law was made as an expression of love and Jesus nullifed the law through His work on the Cross. When you love someone you cannot sin against them, and when you love God you cannot sin against Him. When you love yourself, you will be able to receive the love that God has for you and take it to the next level and desire to become holy like Him because His grace cleanses you of all unrighteousness.
This is my prayer that all of us desire, yearn, and seek for, and strive after and go for and pursue this kind of love:
7 Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor can the floods drown it.
If a man would give for love
All the wealth of his house,
It would be utterly despised.
Stir up in us the passion, the love, the zeal, the fervor, for your kind of love so we can reach the nations. Take us out of ourselves and our own comfort zones and let us live out daily for the love transformation in our lives. Change our hearts, and make us hungry for Your Word, Spirit, and Power to be made manifest in our lives and the loves of others. Let us be like living vessels without any bitterness and let us live out the calling of 1 Corinthians 13. Lord, teach us and guide us with Your Holy Spirit how to live out the daily lives each day. Show us what we are supposed to do. Lord God, Thank You for being the Lover of our Souls. Forgive us if we fallen away or drifted away from your love and awaken the love. Awaken the love in all of us. Stir it up Lord. I seal this prayer with the Blood of Jesus as you help each of us this day and everyday.
In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,