13:4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails...
Love: the most misused and abused word in the English language.
Yesterday we saw that all the gifts, talents, and sacrifices in the world given or made without love are nothing. We saw that love has more power to effect lives positively than any thing else. What we didn't do was look at what love is. In our culture people will say anything from "I love my car to I love peanut butter and jam sandwiches." The word is tossed around like a football yet it is the most rare commodity on the planet. Why do I say that? Because Love is a lot more than we think it is.
On a personal level I know that I don't love. I want to love but it's above me. Love is patient. I am not. Love is always kind. My kindness ebbs and flows like the waves on the seashore. Love does not envy or is not jealous in the negative sense. A new Mustang GT rumbled past me on the highway last night scrapping any delusions that I don't envy. Love does not brag. I do. Love is not arrogant. I certainly can be. Love does not act unbecomingly. My kids might have something to say about that. Love does not seek it's own. No comment necessary. Love is not provoked. Oh boy... Love keeps no record of wrongs. I dream of the day... Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. Maybe possibly this is happening in my heart. Love bears all things. Me? Not so much. Love believes all things. Me? I want to have faith like that. Love hopes all things. Perhaps this is my entering wedge into what love actually is. I am quite hopeful God is able to do far above anything I ask or even imagine. Love endures all things? I'll take a pass lest I be found a liar. Finally love never fails. That's more staggering than love is patient and keeps no record of wrongs.
When I tell my wife I love her, truthfully it's a lie. What it actually means is that all the goodness in me, is aimed at her as pathetic and lacking as it may be.
Need some encouragement after that dose of reality? God is love. Do you know what that means?
God is patient, God is kind and does not envy; God does not brag and He is not arrogant, He does not act unbecomingly; He does not seek His own, and is not provoked. God does not take into account a wrong suffered, He does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; God bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
God never fails...
All He asks in return is that we love Him and others with all we have. We may not have much. Our love may be battered, bruised, and broken, but if we give it all He covers the lack. He counts no wrongs against us and He behind the work of restoration. Some day I will be patient and kind. Until then I am His and I will do my best not to interfere with my Master. I am but clay. He is the Potter.