LOVE IS…

LOVE IS…

“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.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 [NIV]

Valentine’s is over. How was it for you? Memorable? Blissful? Regrettable? Painful? You know, Valentine’s is the day when we celebrate love. But it is also the day when many of us come face to face with the stark reality of man’s inability to love.

I mean, think about it, we are not patient, we are not kind. By virtue of the fact that we parade ourselves, our dresses, our flowers and our credit cards on Valentine’s day, shows that we boast, we are proud. And we do such things because we are self-seeking, and envy others who have what we don’t have. Never mind protect, trust and persevere; when it comes to love, as with everything else in our lives, we fail.

So aren’t we glad that this passage really isn’t about us? No, beloved. Though we have heard it read out and preached on many times during weddings, this passage is really not about us; neither is it a rule book by which we are told to live by. Instead it is a blueprint, a reminder of our Father’s love for us. So let’s bask in His love today and remind ourselves just how much He loves us.

Love Endures with Patience and Serenity
I love it that this passage starts with patience and serenity. In fact, in some other translations, it says

“Love endures long and is patient and kind;” 1 Corinthians 13:4 [AMPC]

Love endures long. When we think about our walk with Jesus, He really did endure long, didn’t He? How many years have we spent battling with our sin? How many years have we spent battling with our habits? How long have we said that we don’t want to let go of certain areas of our lives? How long have we said that we will not believe in Him?

Yet, gently and ever so persistently, He keeps on knocking on the door of our hearts, saying,

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

He never raises His voice. He never smites us when we are disobedient. He just stands there and knock, gently and persistently.

You know, for me, He waited, 20 years; 20 years for me to stop wandering, 20 years for me to stop saying that I don’t believe; and 23 before I finally agreed to take up His call. Would you wait 20 years for anyone? I know I wouldn’t. And if He waited 20 years for me, how many years did He wait for you?

Love Cares More for Others than for Self

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

Jesus bore all that for you, so that with the stripes that wounded Him, you are healed, made whole and given the right to

“…come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

He could have just wiped us off the face of the earth like He did the abominations that lived during the time of Noah. But He didn’t, did He? Instead, He cared so much for you that He was willing to be wounded for your transgressions, bear your griefs, sicknesses, weaknesses and distress; carry your sorrows and pains; all just so you don’t have to. Yes, beloved, Jesus cares for you more than He cares for Himself.

Love Does Not Brag and is Not Proud or Arrogant
Does God brag? Yes. What does He brag about when it comes to us?

“Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”” Job 1:8

God is proud, proud of us. He is arrogant, arrogant of what He knows we can do. And when He brags, He brags about what He knows we are able to accomplish. Isn’t that beautiful? And before you go away thinking that you are now some superhero, remember why it is that you are powerful. It is because

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

You know, Peter reminds us that even and especially when we are going through tough times, we can have faith, because

“…When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.” 1 Peter 1:7 [MSG]

When Jesus wraps it all up for us. We are not the ones that need to solve our problems, Jesus will do it all for us. And when He does, He doesn’t parade His power and might for all to see. Instead, He puts on display our faith as evidence of His victory.

Love Does Not Take Into Account a Wrong Endured
Wronged God lately? Worried about the consequences? Relax.

“…God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

In fact, “…God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

And that is why “…He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

So that “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

That is how much God loves you.

But the best thing is,

“Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].” 1 Corinthians 13:7 [AMP]

Whatever is going to come in your life, however you are going to slip; our Father still believes in you, His love for you remains steadfast even when you decide to be difficult, and endures all things that you can throw at Him without weakening.

And all this because,

Love Never Fails; It Never Fades nor Ends

Beloved child of God, your heavenly Father is not making a list. He’s not checking anything twice. He doesn’t need to find out who’s naughty or nice. Because no matter what you can throw at Him, no matter how willful and difficult you can be, despite of all your failings, His love will never fail you.

So no matter how Valentine’s has been for you, remember that you have the best Valentine, the most perfect Valentine, the Valentine that truly matters; and He will never ever fail you.

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