A new month
Therefore a new memory verse, and because it’s February it has to be about love. So I’m going for the obvious.
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. Love never ends.
1 Corinthians 13 v 4-8a
We find this passage between two chapters that focus on Paul informing the Corinthians about spiritual gifts. This passage on love is there to illustrate to the Corinthians that their desire for the gifts should pale into insignificance to the need to pursue and demonstrate love, because, without love, these other gifts, talents, wealth etc. are of no value. In order to ensure that they have the correct understanding of the definition of the love he is referring to, he beautifully expresses its character in simple phrasing and with repetition to emphasise its importance. As we can see he describes; what it is, what it is not, what it does not do, and what it does do. He wanted them to have a thorough understanding of it. Why? -
Because, this love is what defines us as Christians, it isn't dependant on who we are; what gifts we have; our status; personality; or circumstance, but, it is the essence of the Christian from which everything else flows. It affects what we say, how we interact with people and how we use the gifts and talents he has given us. We’re called throughout the bible to be those who love; we are encouraged to show love to our brothers and sisters in Christ as part of our everyday life and in doing so people will be drawn to Christ. We are instructed to show love to those in need, generously and without wanting anything in return, and directed to love our enemies. However, it is not something we can muster up in our own strength but we can only do this because as mentioned in 1 John 4:19
“We love because He first loved us.”
This love originates from God. It is the powerful love of God that He extends to us and that changes our hearts in order to make us capable of loving in this way. It is seen in His, sustaining power, His provision and protection, but mostly in the sending of His son to die on the cross in our place, in order that we might be reconciled to Him. It is His example that we need to follow to love other people genuinely and sacrificially.
God’s love is vast and we’re unlikely to ever understand the scope of it. But we have the real joy of being able to experience it and rest in it and to let it empower us to return that love in rejoicing and thankfulness and obedience to Him and then to display that love to all those around us so that they may see God’s love through us.
Enjoy these verses and let the real meaning of love be hidden in our hearts and shared in all we do.