A few weeks ago I blogged about the Tests of Love and Loving Like Jesus Loves. We all need a reminder of love so this is it again for the one that is shorter for that which was longwinded, but still got the point across.
When God puts you through tests He will keep you there until you pass the test, and now I found out how you can pass the test. It is through the Agape love, the unconditional and self-sacrificing love, which never fails.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:
“13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
That means that all you do for Christ, isn’t enough. It doesn’t matter how much you pray, read the Word of God, believe God for miracles, selling all that you have to feed the poor, go through persecution or whatever else you do for God, but if you don’t have love then it is nothing. You could be doing all these things, but out of the wrong motive. I could be writing this blog to get the Word out, but if I don’t sincerely love the people with the unconditional love and the same kind of love that God gave me, then it is nothing. A world without this kind of love is useless.
These are the characteristics of the kind of love that Paul is talking about:
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Let’s start with the first one – love suffers long and is kind –
Do you get cranky or would you get cranky when you are not feeling well? Would you still show compassion and a heart full of love. Besides Jesus, I can think of one person – a fictional person in the book, Gone With the Wind, who had this characteristic trait, Melanie was sick and suffering, but she was always kind to Scarlett no matter how much she may have treated her badly.
Love does not envy – That means you don’t want the other person has. It could be their house, or their car, or their clothes, or their shoes, or even their anointing because to get this realization you have to know that God created you for a purpose and He has given you certain things, which He wants you to have and you have to be appreciative of what you have.
Love does not parade itself or is puffed up – This means that love is not conceited, arrogant, or proud. The proud will be brought down and be humbled.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
All these gifts which have been given to us are only for our purpose for our time here on Earth, but when we have love this love never fails. People can prophecy all they want about different conspiracies, or when Jesus is coming back, and people can have knowledge and it will vanish away, but when people have perfect love, then that which is not as important will be no more.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
This is a reflection on being a carnal Christian versus being mature in Christ, to get to the deeper level of understanding, and to know the fullness of God, which can only be realized when we get to heaven, which is when we will be face to face with Jesus. Just like Jesus knows us, then we shall know Him. But the ultimate desire is to get to know Him like here on earth and to get to experience the union and intimacy that Jesus had between Father and Son. In this term intimacy I mean closeness.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Faith is good, Hope is good, but love is the best.
Jesus says in Matthew 24:12-
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
I was meditating a lot on this verse. It seems like a lot of ways, our love has become cold. It’s almost like numb. It feels like we’ve been to that place where nothing seems to shock or amaze us anymore and we’ve taken it all for granted. The news headlines are so preposterous, and scandalous because of lawlessness, and the advance in technology has it made it more difficult to receive what we need from God. We have gone into technology over stimulation and we are all pretty much addicts to it. Since the days of television, to the days of internet, and IPAD, and IPHONE, and all the other gadgets, yes they were created for good and probably have saved lives most of the time, but in the days of Elijah, and the ACTS of the Apostles, they didn’t have these things, and they were able to get into the Presence of God, much quicker than we do. Do we need a youtube playlist, or mp3 player, or laptop, or cd’s to get into the Presence of God, or can we simply just worship with the Holy Spirit? Don’t get me wrong, these things are all good in building your faith, but when you’ve gotten into technology overstimulation it becomes harder to receive from God.
Something has to happen. Something has to change. We need a revival of love in our lives so desperately. We need a revival of love where neighbors actually speak to each other. We need to get rid of this independent, everyone live for themselves spirit, and live by the love of the Lord, which is to love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as you love yourself.
When you love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength – and this means emotions too, because it is implied by soul, which is mind, will, emotions, then this can change your life. The problem is that when we don’t find, or because we are weary or worn out, and we don’t feel like pursuing God, and get caught up in daily activities then we become numb, or cold, and detached. That can become a very dangerous thing when we are so thirsty and deprived of the living water. That’s why Jesus told the woman at the well that He is the Living Water, and that He will refresh our souls and get us into that place.
Help us get to that place where our love never grows cold, and that we live out 1 Corinthians 13, as the body of Christ, and to take on the characteristics of the Fruit of the Spirit that can only be found in You. Help us put the self-sacrifice instead of selfishness, and take away our pride and make us humble, help us to not seek our own, but to glorify you with our daily lives. Your blessings are great and your workings are miraculous, and help us to see the mighty workings of love and Agape in our lives.
In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,