Monday, August 23, 2010

Real love Never Fails!

1 Corinthians 13:8-12

This passage is about the primacy, permanence, and perfection of love over all else, which showcases Christ’s redemption and reconciliation and His Justification, His real love for us. Paul uses these extreme rhetoric devices to illustrate the significance and importance of love over what both this Corinthian church and we think is important, like pride, position, status, charismatic signs, prophecy, and utterances—even good works. This also means that God's purpose cannot be thwarted by our actions; we may experience dire consequences, but His plan will prevail.

This real love is showing an aspect of God’s love for us that never quits; it never gives up on anyone and thus is far superior to all the gifts or positions one can ever hope to attain. Jesus has no end, and His love for us will never come to an end. This is referring to fruit, which is what we are given when we grow in Him, that we add to, and what He then multiplies. Love shows us that we must have more in our spiritual arsenal than just belief. We must have more in order to grow in Christ and make our faith and relationships work. Real, impacting, effectual faith will have results! We must be willing to learn about our Lord, to grow by example of our obedience, and be willing to go through times of waiting, uncertainty, discouragement, and even suffering, and see it all as opportunities of personal growth, faith building, and strengthening (Job. 13:15; John 1:12; 3:16; Rom. 5:1-5; 8:16; 1 Cor. 13:1-7; Eph. 1:6; 5:1-2; 1 John 4:8-16).

The application that Paul was seeking is that the primacy and performance of love must be lived out in the believer’s life, thinking, words, and actions. Love comes from our faith and will create initiatives and connections from the recognition of who we are in Christ, and then we will live out our lives in Him, through His power and because of our gratitude, trust, and obedience. This was also meant to create a better concord among the Believers for the worship of God, the chief reason to be a church, serving Him that who we are in Christ must be demonstrated by our relating to others (Matt. 7:23; 9:33; 26:33; John 7:46; 1 Cor. chaps. 12, 14; Heb. 10:11; 12:14-29; 1 Pet 3:7-12).

The nature of Christian love comes from our gratitude, joy, and excitement of being in Christ, so nothing else matters. Thus, Christ’s love for us should be our biggest motivation so our excitement of what He has done for us urges us to grow in Him and His principles and we become contagious to those around us. The influence of love heals and nourishes us and others around us as they see it at work in us. Being in Christ means receiving, knowing, and applying Christ’s love so we are living our lives for Him with the attitude of “how do I please Him,” not “how can I please myself in all times and all places.” This is the influence of real love!

What does it mean to you that you are deeply accepted and dearly loved by Jesus and this love will never leave or forsake you?

How can you exhibit and share this love? What would it do for your relationships and church?

What can you do better to take hold of His grace and empowerment and really believe and trust that God loves you? How must your church engage this?


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