Author Tina Edebor
1 Corinthians 13:4-13
Love is patient. Can you think of any situations that Jesus demonstrated His patient Love? The one that immediately springs to my mind is the time when His mother expected Him to help at the wedding at Canna and simply ignored His statement that His “time had not yet come.” Knowing how much He loved her, she simply told the servants to “ do what ever he tells you to do.” And sure enough, our Lord did what she wanted Him to do. Now ask yourself if you would have responded in the same way. I know that I probably would have been irritated, and as ashamed as I am to admit it, I would have resented being forced to do something that I really was not ready to do. That is why I am so happy that the Lord knows that I am only human. However, as I strive to be more like Him, I take a deep breathe, ask myself “what would Jesus do?” and try to do just! They say that patience is a virtue and virtue is a grace, so turn to the source of all grace and ask for the virtue.
Love is kind. That Jesus is and was kind is not even debatable. Of the many examples of His loving Kindness, the one that I want to point out is the time when Jesus encountered a widow whose only son was about to be buried. The Bible tells us that he walked up to the woman and, knowing her loss, raised her son back to life and handed him over to his mother. Unless you know the plight of a woman who has no husband and no son in a culture that thinks of women as second class citizen, you may not realize just how kind this action was. The woman did not know the Lord, she was just going about her business, but His loving kindness meets us at our point of need. As Christians, we often find ourselves uniquely positioned to help people who are not even aware that you know what their need is. Take a leaf out of the Lord’s play book, step in and offer your help.
However, I also think of the kindness that the Lord showed to the woman caught in adultery and to the woman at the well. If there was anyone who had the right to condemn these women, it was Jesus but in His loving kindness Christ forgave them and showed them compassion. How many of us, who are not perfect, readily point the finger of blame and condemnation at others? If you find yourself in the position to sit in judgment over someone else, remember to demonstrate God’s loving kindness and shine God’s love into their lives.
Love is not jealous, does not brag ,and is not arrogant,
Some of the most arrogant, self righteous people I have ever met claim to be Christian. They look down their noses at others, forgetting that they themselves are sinners, After all the Bible says :all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. O.K I am just as guilty as most people! We all remember, and often boast, of the things we do right, and selectively forget all the times that we have disobeyed the prompting of the Holy Spirit! I sometimes think about the love I have for my children and I must confess that I have never been jealous of them for any reason, would never brag and am never arrogant towards them. That is the love that God would have us show to each other, The same kind of love that caused Jesus to humble Himself and come down to Earth for our sake.
Love does not act unbecomingly. The definition of unbecoming means to behave in a way that does not represent the person in a positive or favorable light. Jesus loved the Father and he represented Him well. Even when they were spitting in His face, He carried himself with dignity and honor. Similarly, hanging from the cross, He remembered to provide for his mother and handed her to John who he knew would take care of her. As we relate to each other as Christians we must remember to act in a way that honors God and your loved one.
Love does not seek its own I remember eating with my father as a little girl and knowing that he would always leave the last piece of meat for me. I remember standing in the hallway as my husband ran out in the rain to get the car. I remember wrapping my children in the warm blanket while I sat shivering because it was so cold. True love is selfless. You always put the other person’s well being and welfare ahead of your own. That is how Jesus .loved us. He did not have to leave his throne of glory to come down to Earth for our sake, and the Father certainly did not have to send Him, but the Bible tells us that: God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not die but have everlasting life.” And “this is love that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!”
Love is not provoked, bears all things, and does not take into account a wrong suffered.
Can you imagine what would have happened if this was not true of God’s love? Can you even begin to think of how totally inadequate we are to withstand the wrath of God’s vengeance? Yet we, imperfect mortals, are easily provoked, often refuse to forgive and seek vengeance when ever we can get it! As Christians we must remember that the Lord’s prayer specifically asks The Almighty to forgive us as we forgive. Now I ask, how many people really want to be forgiven as they forgive, and if not, why not?
Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. This is hard to explain, but simply put, it means that if we truly love each other , we would not want the one we love to do anything that is against the will of God. How can we say we love and rejoice when we know that our loved one is heading down the road to hell and damnation? At every opportunity our Lord would say “sin no more!”
Finally, love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. In other word, true love is never negative about the loved one. I recently observed that for many people, the default mind set is to distrust and doubt everyone and anyone. Unfortunately this is just as true in the church as in the secular community. I would seek this opportunity to ask all our readers to think about what Jesus would do in any situation, and then try your hardest to do it!
Happy Valentine’s Day and may the arms of the Almighty God enfold you as you shine His love into the lives of everyone you encounter. In Jesus mighty name, AMEN!
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