1 Corinthians 13 The Way of Love
- ] If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. …
This week I am focusing on relationships…ya know those things filled with love and stuff? What is a relationship? Webster defines it as follows:
: the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other
: a romantic or sexual friendship between two people
: the way in which two or more people or things are connected
God describes it perfectly in the scripture verse above. Love is something we might never ever wrap our minds fully around. This week I will share a little bit about my husband and I’s relationship in hopes of shedding light onto the subject from our perspective. Let me begin by stating, I told God I did not want a man in my life. Some may giggle, but I did exactly that. After being in a very broken relationship for 22 years, I just wanted to publish a book and travel. That’s it. No attachments. No commitment except to God. Just me, myself and Jesus!
Funny how God had MUCH bigger plans for me. It says a relationship is how people communicate or deal with each other. Hmmm, deal with? It makes it sound like such a complicated, hard thing. A true relationship built on love is easy. Yes there are some things to work out, however, I feel the secret to a successful relationship is simply God. If God is love, then a relationship based on God is then surely based on love. John and I know that if we ever stop letting God be the center of our marriage we will surely fall short of the intent of love. We know that the absence of God is the absence of love.
When John and I met we both knew God. Now, while I was content to be without man, John on the other hand was seeking for a wife. I still laugh sometimes when I think about how sneaky God can be sometimes. So often in life we think we have it all figured out and we are going to tell God how it’s going to go. Wrong! He has awesome plans for our lives. He longs to see us happy! So long story short, God showed up in both of our lives and though John got what he wanted all along, I had to come to the realization that often God gives us what we need in life long before we realize that we really wanted it all along anyways.
Tomorrow, I will share how things change in relationships. I will share how we can grow stronger in not only love but our faith. If only we could get that embedded in our brains: God is love and love is God, the word relationship would not be such a scary one in our vocabulary.
1 Corinthians 13
The Message (MSG)
The Way of Love
13 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
So we talked about finding seeds, receiving seeds and giving seeds to others, but what about the seed that is in you? Remember that day when someone asked you if you knew Jesus? Then that moment when everything just seemed to make sense about love and God? Ah Ha! That moment the seed took root! That happy moment when you just knew beyond the shadow of doubt everything was going to be okay. For me I was 6 and attending a vacation Bible school with my neighbors. I can see it in my mind as if it was yesterday. The day I took the seed from the man who was calling us to invite Jesus into our hearts, oh what a happy day!
So what did I do with that seed? I began to go to church wherever I could. I began to get to know God and what He was all about. I even convinced a few friends here and there to meet my Jesus and as I got older I kinda just set that seed aside while I tried life on my own. All along I knew God. I knew what He did for me. I knew that He was my provider. I knew He loved me enough to let me go and do my own thing for awhile. Here I am years later, divorced and remarried and I still know all those things about God. So how did I do on my own? Eh…it was like playing the lottery..you win and your happy so you don’t need any help but when you are losing and broke you cry out to God for help of any kind.
What have I learned in those lost years? That God is a restore of all things. Even if we make wrong choices we can be led right back to God and His ways of providing for us. I finally learned not too long ago how to rest in Him. If things are already planned out like it says in Jeremiah 29:11 then we just have to wait on God to direct our paths. We need to be still and quiet to hear His still small voice. Once we hear that voice we are off to the races! We begin to pursue thos things which God gave to us. As for me, I am at a crossroads per say. I want to move forward with my books and begin sharing the Good News by public speaking, yet I am waiting on God’s timing. All I can say my friends is know, rest and pursue. These are the three things to a successful life!
New Living Translation (NLT)
3 You can be sure of this:
The Lord set apart the godly for himself.
The Lord will answer when I call to him.
I never seem to fit in I always say. My husband actually had to push me at first to go to women’s group every other Monday night. I disliked new groups. I felt like a not valid part of any group. I often thought, “What difference will what I say make in any ones life?” Then of course God reminds me that we heal others and share Jesus with our testimonies. Then my mind starts telling me my testimony is not that great and who would want to hear me rambling on. All pure lies from the enemy.
Every time I have shared my past life, someone takes notice. Not of me, but of Jesus. Even I sometimes ponder on what amazing things God did in my life over the last 43 years. Sometimes my own testimony helps me get over something I am dealing with today so why wouldn’t my story help others?
Often times in life, God sets us apart for season. Perhaps He wants us all to Himself so that He can pour into us. Other times He many want to separate us from a disaster we have gotten ourselves into. Or maybe He just needs our full attention so that we can get back on track with our destiny. No matter the reason, there is a reason for being set apart.
How can we tell the difference from being alone or separated? Simple. It all comes to choosing. If you are choosing to follow after God and are listening and obeying to what He directs then you are choosing to allow Him to set you apart. If you are choosing to be a part of a group instead of being alone then here again it is your choice. Perhaps it is time to begin to step out in faith and BE a part of a group. Begin to share your story. Start to believe in you as the person God has created you to be.
Jesus Blesses the Children
- One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him. Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
With open arms Jesus stands waiting for us to enter into His love, why are we so stand offish? It says for us to come unto Him as little children, what exactly does this mean? Well the answer is simpler than you think. It means running towards love and embracing it with no fear, no judgement, no wondering if we will be rejected and in complete trust that the arms will stay open until we are safely in them. That is how simple His love is, so why do we make it so complicated?
My husband and I went to a local church tonight to watch an Easter play. It basically began at Genesis and ended at Revelation and showed the love of God from beginning to end, things I have already learned and seen in my walk yet one part in particular just grabbed my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I could hardly see the scene at times through the tears which flowed as I watched Jesus pick up this little lame girl, heal her and set her back down. He had healed her. What joy flooded my soul! Later in the same scene He is dancing with her and enjoying her company…let me get real with you and tell you what this did to my spirit…..
This scene first took me to a place of complete rest in Jesus. As I saw Him take that little girl from her fathers arms I could see that little girl was me. As He held me close to His chest and prayed over me I was brought back to the many times where I had resided in the arms of Jesus just receiving my healing. Secondly when they were dancing I felt so much joy and it showed me just how easy it is to accept Jesus and His love for us. If only we could humble ourselves enough to run to open arms of Jesus everyday.
I encourage you to close your eyes after reading this and begin to imagine what it feels like to be held in the arms of Jesus. Even if you feel you do not deserve it, press in. Even if you feel you don’t have enough faith, start running. When you see Jesus standing before you, know that He is real and means no harm. It is safe there in His arms. Run to Him, He is patiently waiting your arrival.