By Brooke Holt
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
As Paul has been instructing the Corinthians in the practice and pursuit of spiritual gifts, he takes them to the purpose of the gifts. Every gift given by the Lord is given in love and for love. We see that full expression of love in the person of Jesus. The Lord loved us so much that he sent his Son to come and dwell among us. Love brought Jesus to earth and eventually kept him hanging on a cross so that you could be forgiven and free. Jesus made the way for you to be in relationship with a holy God. Through this divine expression of love, Jesus has made the way for you to love him and to love his people.
Think about the life of Jesus. Jesus was always patient and kind. Though his disciples denied him, betrayed him, and failed him his love for them was steadfast. Jesus never envied nor did he boast of his great miracles or powers. He was never arrogant or rude; Jesus did not need the conversations to revolve around him. When he was insulted and dismissed, Jesus did not demand to be heard and understood. You never read about Jesus being irritable or resentful, even when his prayer times got cut short or thousands of people showed up for his private retreat with the disciples. Jesus always spoke the truth with love and always rejoiced in what brought glory to his Father. Jesus bore all things, believed all things, hoped all things, and endured all things. Jesus was and is the full and perfect expression of love.
Paul sought to emulate this example of Jesus to the Corinthians (and to all people), and Paul prayed that the Corinthians would be transformed by God’s love so that they, too, could love and serve each other in this divine love. There is only one way to manifest love and that is through Jesus Christ. You must receive love to give love. As Paul longed for the believers in Corinth, so he longed for all his readers, including you, to receive God’s love, be transformed by God’s love, and then to be a conduit of God’s love to this world.
Can you spend some time soaking in the love of the Lord for you today? How has that love transformed you? How does the Lord want to continue to transform you, and then love his people through you? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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