all you need is love
SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 13
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. [1 Corinthians 13:4-8]
Love is not a feeling.
It is something in me that goes out to others, not something in others that happens to me.
This love is agape love, the self-giving love found in God, and expressed to us.
Jesus calls us to this kind of love: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. [Matthew 5:44-45]
At the end of the day, this is what God is looking for – love for Him and love for others.
He will not look at our words or actions or accomplishments by themselves, but at the motivation behind them.
If I hate someone, but do something nice for them out of guilt or compulsion, this is not to my credit.
I could give them millions of dollars, but it means nothing if I do not love them.
Do I want to be like God, loving the righteous and the unrighteous?
I guess that depends on whether I appreciate the fact that He loves me, because I am one of the unworthy, unrighteous ones that He as blessed with His self-giving love.
For God so loved the world [including me] that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. [John 3:16]
If I am blessed because of undeserved love, shouldn’t I want others to be blessed too?
If I am forgiven because of undeserved grace, shouldn’t I want others to be forgiven too?
This is why Jesus connects our being forgiven with our forgiving others.
Paul’s description of love makes a great plaque or wedding text, but it makes an even better practice.
They are not just nice words, they are life words, intended to be lived.
Eternal, kingdom life depends on them.
It’s the heartbeat of God’s world order, the only way we will live in the joy and peace of God’s creation.
As long as I am fuzzy on love, nothing else will be clear.
Right now I am still fuzzy (like looking in a poor quality mirror), but one day we will experience perfect love, and joy, and peace.
Until then, by faith, we strive towards this love, in hope that one day it will be realized!
Lord, by faith I believe in You and in the law of love. Right now its hard, but I want to love like You, in the hope that one day, it will be perfect again!