Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 13 - What Is Love?

I Corinthians 13

After writing all week about the importance of loving God, fellow believers, and anyone with whom we have contact; I felt that it would be good to wrap up this week and see how the Bible defines love. Please look up I Corinthians 13, the famed “Love Chapter.” Whenever I read this chapter, I am convicted of how some of my thoughts and behavior do not show love. When I have written in the past about comparing ourselves to God and not others, this chapter gives us a picture of who God is. Remember earlier in the week, we saw how the Bible says that God is love. Knowing that, we can read through I Corinthians 13 and get a glimpse of God.

The first thing we see is that no matter what we do here on earth, if it is done without love, it is worth nothing to God (verses 1-3). Remember from previous studies that God wants us to obey because our love and respect for Him compels us to obey. He doesn’t want obedience done out of guilt or an expectation of reward. If you find yourself obeying for the wrong reason, pray to God to change your heart. God will honor a prayer that will make us more like Him; He wants us to be like Him. This is why it is so important to love; we are to be a reflection of Him here on earth and we know that God Is Love.

Let’s look at what love is and isn’t. First I would like to look at what love is not so we can clearly see what it is. We are told that love is not envious, proud or boastful. Love is not rude; it is not self-seeking (or self-centered). It is not brought to anger easily and it does not hang on to offences by others. Love does not delight in evil. Love never fails! I feel convicted each time I go through this list, especially when it says it keeps no record of wrongs. Sometimes when a wound is deep, it is hard not to think on the hurt with anger but God wants us to forgive. What I have found when I am keeping a grudge is to ask God to help me forgive and my heart begins to soften.

Let’s now look at what love is. Love is patient, and kind. Love rejoices with the truth. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Do you see some of the Fruit of the Spirit in this list? Love brings it all together! In fact in verse 13, Paul wrote that “the greatest of these is love.” Without love, nothing we do matters. Why? Because God is love.

I am providing a link for you to read I Corinthians 13 in the Message. It is a paraphrase, not a translation but it words this chapter so beautifully. Please enjoy reading!

Are you showing love in all your actions?

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