Hello again and Happy Thursday!
I hope that if you had a chance to read yesterday's post, that you were encouraged to love the lost better. Sometimes I get so focused on me me me, my growth, my relationship with the Lord, my stuff that I forget that all that love and goodness God has poured out in my life is not for me to keep but to share with others! My prayer for the last half of 2015 is that God would awaken our hearts to love the lost, share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and see more and more people give their lives to Him.
My heart has been so burdened for the world and for the false hope it carries... If only people would meet Jesus, their whole lives would be turned around. And that is why Jesus commands us to love the lost! We are the only glimpse of Christ that this world has. So let's decide together that we are going to do a good job representing Christ, and not misrepresent Him to the world.
Today we are going to look at the last part 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. These last few verses have been VERY convicting for me. But they are so important.
6. (continued from yesterday) Love is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs.
This is one of the areas that I really have to keep in check! True love doesn't keep a record of wrongs. True love doesn't get offended at every little thing. True love makes a continuous decision to forgive. Wow.
It is SO easy to get angry and offended at what is going on in the world around us. We as Christians are being cussed at, ridiculed, and persecuted for our beliefs. But frankly, this is not something that should take us by surprise! Jesus tells us again and again that we are going to face persecution because we follow Him. And when that happens, Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek. Our example, Jesus Christ, did not throw insults at those who flogged him. When the Roman soldiers were crucifying Him, He kept no record of their wrongs but instead prayed for their salvation. When His BFF Peter denied Him three times, He did not disown Peter, but chose to love Peter even amidst His backstabbing.
We live in a fallen world. Why are we so surprised when the world acts worldly? It should not surprise us that there is sin in our country. It should not surprise us that people disagree with us. It should not surprise us that we are mocked and made fun of. Instead of blowing up social media with insults or constantly trying to defend ourselves, we have to shine the love of Jesus. We have to forgive. We have to have high grace on those who hurt us. We have to turn the other cheek and show love. When we as Christians live so sensitively that we carry offense everywhere we go, we are no longer able to be utilized by God fully! So let's not keep a record of wrongs.
7. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
There is a movement in the church right now that is teaching that love equals tolerance. That love equals accepting people's sin. That God is a God of love, and we can kind of forget about the whole "holy/just" side of God too. Yes, God IS a God of love, but He is also a holy God that cannot tolerate sin. He calls us to love people and take a stand for truth at the same time. If I say I believe in the Bible, and understand that the penalty of sin is eternal death, then the most hateful thing I can do is tell someone that their sin is okay. True love does not delight in evil. True love does not encourage someone in their sin. True love does not make excuses for a friend's sinful behavior. True love instead rejoices in the truth that God made a way for us to be saved. He made a way out. He made a way for us to leave our sinful lifestyles behind and be transformed by His righteous power.
Rejoicing with the truth is a way that we LOVE those who don't know Jesus.
When we meet someone who is caught up in a lifestyle of one-night-stands, we lovingly tell her the truth - that God sees her as more precious than rubies. That God sees her value and worth. That God created her for one man. That God can redeem her and make her as pure as snow.
When we meet someone who is addicted to drugs - we tell him that God has made him an overcomer. That with His help, he can overcome this addiction. That God made him for more than drugs. That his body is a sacred place, and God wants him to steward his body well.
True love does not turn a blind eye to sin, but rejoices with the truth.
True love sees God's truth in each person it comes in contact with and celebrates the TRUE person, not the LIE they've bought into for their lives.
8. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I love the last two phrases in this part. Love always hopes and always perseveres. No matter how wicked the world gets, God's love will persevere. We cannot lose our hope. God calls us to keep hoping, keep persevering and keep seeing the best in people.
What if all of us as Christians walked in love like God outlines in 1 Corinthians 13? What if we applied these principles to the way we deal with our family, our friends, our coworkers, our neighbors, and even our enemies? I think it would change thousands of lives. Wouldn't that be amazing?
My prayer is that through these posts, we would be challenged to love a little better. That we would make ourselves known as a people who love deeply rather than whine endlessly or live pridefully. That our love would draw more and more souls to Christ.
Love never fails!
Which of the aforementioned aspects of love is the hardest for you?
Is there anything God is speaking to you in regards to how well you are loving?