Showing posts with label 1 corinthians 13. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1 corinthians 13. Show all posts

Saturday, August 6, 2022

What the World Needs Now

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

While faith and hope may be more personal, love is meant to be shared.

Growing up in the sixties and seventies I listened to a lot of music, mostly pop and soft rock. Songs like What the World Needs Now and Put a Little Love in Your Heart by Jackie DeShannon, and I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing by the New Seekers focused on spreading love in the world. In my bedroom as I belted out the songs, in front of the mirror and into my hairbrush, I believed I could be an instrument in sharing love with everyone. As you might guess, I was a bit na├»ve. I didn’t understand what loving the whole world entailed, until I understood how much Jesus loved me.

Most of the time when I hear 1 Corinthians 13, I’m at a wedding where the pastor reads the passage and talks about what it means to love. The other day I was reading 1 Corinthians 13 and I came to the last verse. Often verse thirteen is skimmed over. Instead of flying past it, I paused and read each word.

Faith, hope, and love remain. Three of the most important words in my vocabulary stand out as three of the most important ideas in this passage. My faith in Jesus is personal. Through my experiences and His grace, my faith has become the springboard for my relationship with Him. My hope in Jesus is also personal, without the hope of heaven and the hope of brighter days ahead, I’d bewell, hopeless. Love is different. According to verse thirteen, love is the greatest of all three, and I believe that’s because love is to be shared. For people to understand my faith and my hope in Jesus, they need to see the love He spills over me as I in turn pour love over others.  What better way to share my faith and hope than to model and live the love mapped out in chapter thirteen.

Share Jesus love with a world who still needs Him.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Encourage With Kind Words

Hebrews 10:24-25
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

I didn’t care about fashion. Shopping left me exhausted, and my hair style skills stopped with braids.

Growing up, I was a tomboy. I’d rather climb a tree or tromp through the woods, than primp and play with make-up. Then God gave me three girls. Instead of focusing on their appearance (although they were always beautiful) I made a point to instill in them the importance of encouraging and loving each other. Many times through the years, I gave a speech reminding them their friends might come and go, but your sister will always be your sister.

It’s been a joy for me to see my girls grow close to each other and support one another. Despite my inability to raise girls in a girly way, God helped me teach them a love for truth, independence to know they could accomplish what the Lord set before them, and the desire to encourage and help others.

There is a meme on social media that says something like, “Be the woman who fixes another woman's crown without telling the world it was crooked.” Men and women, we all need to encourage each other with kind words and heartfelt gestures. Don’t point out the difficulty, instead quietly lend a loving hand and encourage your friend, family member, or even a stranger.

The Hebrews writer says to urge each other to love. What’s that look like? In 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 we find love is patient, kind, thankful, humble, unselfish, calm, and doesn’t carry grudges, rejoices with the truth, protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. That’s quite a list, but if each of us would embrace the love God outlined, we’d build each other up and find the world a kinder more considerate place.

As Jesus’ followers were not called to judge and fight, we’re asked to remind others of their worth to God. He created every one of us in his image. An image which includes loving others. He knows our hearts and has a desire for us to love Him and the people around us.

Encourage one another with kind words and heartfelt gestures.

 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Be the Love

I Corinthians 13:8
Love never fails.

Matthew 22:37-39
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

The word love is mentioned more than 500 times in the New International Version of the Bible and more than 300 times in the King James. Plus, King James uses words like charity to speak of love. As I've studied and written through the "love" verses of 1 Corinthians 13, I'm brought to the one verse that ties a lovely bow on the most beautiful package. "Love never fails."

Paul is speaking of the love God has for his people, the love we have through Jesus, the love God wants us to have for one another. Matthew writes with authority from God that we are to love God and our neighbor. The question is often asked, who's my neighbor. With social media and the internet connecting people around the world, I chance a guess to say, whoever God sends across our path is our neighbor. That person may live across the street or on the other side of the world. Wherever they are, we need to pour love over them the way Paul poses in Corinthians.

Maybe if we show more love and less hate, there will be less senseless acts of violence. Maybe if we show more love and less hate, people will feel loved and pass it on. 
Maybe if we show more love and less hate, less bullying, abuse, and evil will be prevalent in the world. Where do we begin? At home, at work, on Facebook, in the classroom, and yes even in the church. God's love never fails. But sometimes we stink at showing his love to others. Look for the people God needs you to love.

Be observant. Be intentional. Be the love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Shine like Stars...in Love

1 Corinthians 13:5
Love...does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Philippians 2:3-4
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
As a mom, I didn't always have the best discipline methods.
One time my three girls were doing what siblings sometimes do, arguing. Who knows what the squabble was about, probably something trivial, but it ended with name calling. Frustrated, I wanted to end the quarrel. So instead of telling them to stop, or sitting them down to discuss their behavior, I yelled out, "Let's just...call each other names." Well that stopped the fight, all right. All three of them busted out laughing...at me. So maybe it wasn't the best method, but it worked. You see, I hate name calling, especially among loved ones.

When we love someone like Jesus loves, there is no place for rudeness, selfishness, quick anger or grudges. Think about it, these are the people we love. We've chosen to love our spouses, our family, our friends, our church. I'm not just talking about the call to love all people. I'm talking about the love we have for those who are dear to us. When I think about Jesus and the love he has for me, I am humbled to my knees. He gave his life for me and you. Like Jesus, I aim to value the people I love.

Philippians 2:14-15 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”  Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky... 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Love is Patient

1 Corinthians 13:4a
Love is patient, love is kind.

Proverbs 14:29
A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.

Proverbs 19:11
A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.

Patience is required for many life moments. I know my patience has stretched like Silly Putty until a hole poked through the center. As I've prayed on and thought about patience in the context of love this week, the example that keeps popping into my head involves a baby. Not a particular one, could be any little one who can't feed themselves, yet. To set the scene—I've buckled the child in the highchair, and I'm preparing a yummy jar of smooshed up green beans. (You know, the ones with no flavor that are a putrid green.) I've warmed them in a pan of hot water, because I don't want to overheat them. I stir and check the temp, several times. The whole time I'm stirring, I'm also entertaining my little one, so she doesn't cry. Finally, the temperature meets my expectations. I sit down in front of my sweet, little dear and spoon up the first bite. She opens her mouth like a baby bird and takes the spoonful.  When I aim the second bite at her mouth, she closes her lips tight and refuses to eat. So we play the airplane game. "Here comes the plane. Vroom." And it sails by those pursed lips. Until finally she open her mouth again, takes a bite, remembers how bad it tastes, and without warning, spits it all over my face. Do I give up? No, I clean myself up and try again. That, my friends, is patience. I want the baby to eat a healthy meal, so I keep trying.
God wants me to nurture the kind of love that requires patience.
According to Proverbs, someone who is patient is understanding and has wisdom. In the thesaurus, another term listed for patience is "lack of complaint." When Jesus chose the twelve disciples to leave their livelihoods and follow him, I'm certain he understood how much patience he would need. He knew Peter would deny him, Thomas would doubt him, and Judas would betray him. Yet, he still loved them with patience and kindness. I wonder if Paul, the author of Corinthians, listed patience first in the traits of love, because it is one of the most difficult to develop. In our society, patience is not a virtue, but it needs to be. As believers in Jesus, we need to cultivate the courage to love with a patient heart, the way Jesus did.

When has your patience been tested?