Good Snowy morning to you all!
This week's Bible verse:"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
Love is...Most of us have attended a wedding where the "love passage" was read. It is the well known 1 Corinthians 13 that most couples want to start out their lives together with. It sounds so idyllic...the way a marriage is "supposed" to be, right? I have come to realize, however, that this passage is much more than a primer for newlyweds...it is God's direction for us in learning to show AGAPE love to others...to everyone!
The beginning of the passage explains that you may have a lot of gifts...you may be a good speaker, you may have faith that there is a God and there is a heaven and you think you are going there when you die...you may even appear to be very generous and faithfully give to your church and other charities. Paul, who wrote this book, explains that those things are all well and good...but, if you don't have love...this self-sacrificing AGAPE love, you really have nothing and are missing out!
Love is PATIENT, love is KIND, it does not ENVY, it does not BOAST, it is not PROUD, it does not DISHONOR, 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.
Don't we all WANT that kind of love bestowed upon us!!! But, Paul next explains that we can't be selfish about AGAPE love. Children are very egocentric...they are all about THEIR needs and wants...Gimme gimme...Paul says we need to put away childish ways, and think about others more than ourselves.
Love is...an amazing gift, isn't it? And, a pretty tall order, if you think about it. There are a lot of ALWAYS and NEVERS in there...I don't know about you, but I know I haven't been able to live up to those standards and to be honest, I don't ever think I will...on this earth. After teaching us about love is and isn't, Paul then gives us hope for our sorry selves...we will not reach perfection here or now...but THEN, when we reach heaven and are with our Father, THEN we will really know and understand and be able to demonstrate AGAPE love!!!
Faith and hope are amazing gifts...the things that keep me going everyday in this crazy world. But, Paul says that love is the greatest gift, AGAPE love...I believe he is absolutely right! When I FEEL AGAPE love, from friends, family and from God, I feel treasured and protected. When I GIVE AGAPE love, I feel honored and grateful and blessed. "Because He first loved us..."
How have you practiced AGAPE love to others in your life? How can you in the future?