NewPointe Community Church is currently in a series called “Life Verse”. A life verse is a Scripture that someone keeps coming back to over and over again and that guides them in their life. As I thought about that several passages of Scripture came to my mind. As I thought about which one I should write about I realized that this Scripture is the one that I often quote and talk about. I’ve used it at weddings and funerals and in mentoring sessions with individuals and couples. This Scripture is challenging to me and a constant reminder of how I should live my life.
It’s often called the Love chapter because it gives us a very clear description of what love is. It’s not just one verse, it’s actually 4 verses. So here it is:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth. Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures.”
I’ve often put my name in place of love, which makes it personal and very humbling, because I realize that I have a ways to go in understanding and living out this idea of love. So here are some points about this powerful passage of Scripture.
- Love is a verb not a noun – This passage is all about the actions that we take not thoughts that we have. It deals with what kinds of emotions direct our lives and what kind of behaviors come out of us. Love is all about doing and showing the people around us that we love them. To be patient, kind and trusting takes actions that show those traits.
- Love is others focused – When it comes to understanding love it’s all about being focused on the people around us and not on ourselves. It’s paying attention to the people in our lives and taking the time and energy to love them and serve them.
- Love is powerful – If love is your base, it can overpower all the negative emotions we struggle with. Love brings us back to the way God designed us. It fights against the resistance that pushes us to be selfish, self-centered and negative. Everyone wants to experience love whether they admit it or not. When we love it shows strength and character.
- Love is long-term – When we love the way this Scripture says to love it keeps us focused on the big picture and the long-term health of all our relationships. It looks beyond the current situation or pain and sees how things could and should be. It allows us to be patient and to trust when the situation doesn’t feel like we should. Love is what gets us through the dark times in our lives. Love is what picks us up and gets us through.
- Love Works – We all want to be around people that love well. We are drawn to people that live out these actions. Jesus was the perfect example of love. When we put his name in place of love we can say yes that’s Jesus. I think that is why people were so drawn to him and why so many people are still following him today. Love really does work, love gets results and changes lives.
So here is the challenge. We can all grow in this area of love because non of us are Jesus. Love is the key to life because when everything else is stripped away love remains. Whether it’s loving other people or loving God, that is what changes lives. When we allow God’s love to penetrate and take over our hearts, our behavior starts to change, our thoughts start to change and our perspective starts to change.
If your relationships are not working ask yourself how much love you have in your heart. If there is not much there, then turn to God and ask Him to fill it up with that kind of love.
Verse 8 starts off with this – “Love never fails.” God never fails, he never gives up on us and always believes the best about us even when he knows the worst about us. Love Well!