Monday, May 23, 2011

Christian Love



Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7)


Our society confuses love and lust. Unlike lust, God’s kind of love is directed outward toward others, not inward toward ourselves. It is utterly unselfish. This kind of love goes against our natural inclinations. It is possible to practice this love only if God helps us set aside our own desires and instincts, so that we can give love while expecting nothing in return. Thus the more we become like Christ, the more love we will show to others.


More songs have been written about love than about any other topic. It has inspired some of the world’s best, and worst, poetry. It has set on fire, and broken, countless hearts throughout human history. Many things are said about love. Yet for the final word on the topic, we must turn to the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 13, the apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, provides the world’s most beautiful ode to love.

One common word for love in the Greek language was eros, which suggested physical sexual desire and not much else. Another word (philos) suggested the esteem and affection found in a casual friendship. Because neither of these words came close to describing the kind of love he wanted to communicate, Paul chose a relatively rare Greek word for his definitive passage on love. This word, agape, describes a love that is based on the deliberate choice of the one who loves rather than the worthiness of the one who is loved. This kind of love goes against natural human inclination. It is a giving, selfless, expect-nothing-in-return kind of love. Paul’s description of love is short but full of power.

Love suffers for a long time. Our modern “throw-away” society encourages us to get rid of people in our lives who are difficult to get along with, whether they are friends, family, or acquaintances. Yet this attitude runs in complete contrast to the love described by Paul. True love puts up with people who would be easier to give up on.

Love does not envy. If our love is directed toward others, we will rejoice in the blessings they receive rather than desiring those blessings for ourselves. Fundamentally, the selfless love that God calls us to does not involve pride or glory. It does not parade itself and is not puffed up. In fact, true love does not seek its own. If we truly love others, we will set aside our own plans, agendas, and entitlements for the good of another.

Love is not provoked. That is, love is not easily angered or over-sensitive. When we truly love others, we are careful not to be touchy concerning other people’s words or actions towards us.

Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. The godly love described in this chapter has nothing to do with evil, but has everything to do with what is right and true. It believes all things and hopes all things. This does not mean that love is blind or naive. When we love, we may recognize problems and failures in people, but we do not lose faith in the possibilities of what people might become. Love never gives up, knowing that God can change lives for the better.

Finally, love endures all things. Love accepts any hardship or rejection, and continues unabated to build up and encourage. The love described by Paul in this “love chapter” means determining what is best for another person and then doing it. This is the kind of love that God shows to us.

Father God, it is my prayer today that I humble myself before you with all humility, asking your forgiveness for not showing the love that You require of me towards other people. I continue daily in my walk with Jesus, but sometimes I fall short when it comes to thinking more of others then me. Lord give me the courage, wisdom and discernment that I need to be more like You in my relationship with my family, church and others that I come across in my day-to-day living. I pray this all in Jesus’ name. Amen.

References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), and the Nelson Study Bible.

19 comments:

Kimberly Krey said...

Great post, beautiful song! Thanks for spreading the good word! :)

Jesus te ama! said...

BOM DIA AMIGO COM MUITA PAZ!!!
DESEJO UMA BOA SEMANA PRA VOCÊ, ABENÇOADO SEJA AS OBRAS DE TUAS MÃOS!!! ABENÇOADO SEJA SEU DEITAR E SEU LEVANTAR, ABENÇOADA SEJA AS PALAVRAS DE TEUS LÁBIOS QUE EM TUDO DEUS SEJA CONTIGO .
ABRAÇOS CHEIO DE PAZ DO SENHOR JESUS!!!
DIANA.

Ebenezer said...

Amen!!!
Love is my favorite topic in the Bible, thanks am blessed and touched by your sweet words, be blessed.

Jeremiah 31:3 (Amplified Bible)

The Lord appeared from of old to me [Israel], saying, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you.

Geoff Maritz said...

Ah Lloyd my faithful friend, the Lord has touched me today through your writing. You don't have to convince me of the truth of what you have said, I know already. The strange thing is how some people just don't get it (at first). There is someone in my life who, when I have shown her this kind of love has become so frustrated in the past. Things are changing though. It's not about me and what I want but about her and what the Lord wants, Hmm! God loves her. That's the truth. It is not always easy to show this kind of love without the other person wanting to go to bed with you, especially if you and they are single. But you know what? God can do anything, even convince someone that has no knowledge of Him. Amazing God.
Bless you my friend, Geoff.

Apologete1 said...

I like your site Lloyd, especially the links on the right side. Well done. Thanks for the comments, and the ministry you do on here. May the Lord bless you dear brother!

p.s like the hymn!

T-WAC said...

Somewhere in one of the four gospels (I'm sure you know where it is), Jesus says that there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for his friends.
The whole topic of this selfless love has always inspired me.

Thanks for the great post!

RCUBEs said...

I love 1 Cor.13 because it makes us search our hearts and know what kind of love we offer to others. Thanks for writing about the difference between love that this world knows v. agape love. God bless.

vision poet said...

Hey Lloyd, your post makes a lot of sense. These are important scriptures to remember and take to heart. Even though these verses are known by most Christians, they are not meditated upon enough. Thanks for bringing them back into focus.

Dany Elisa Victory said...

nice post ...
i have read your invitation in comment of my blog...
and i have follow your blog thank"s
GOD BLESS

tommytwotoez said...

Love it brother! Enjoyed your post here on this topic of love. Doesnt this simple word seem so complex sometimes? It's easy to say, "love," but to endure love...crazy stuff! Or even to consider God's love, the Creator of planets, blackholes, gamma-ray burts, supernovias, the elements and minerals...grasshopers, jellyfish...us. And this Creator whats us! You said it in your prayer brother, humbling to the very core of our interior selves causes each and every one of us to whisper, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!"

Amen!

Mari said...

Muy buen post!! It is very difficult at times, to love those that are easier to give up on, but to love like Christ is the most beautiful and satisfying feeling. When we learn to love without expecting anything in return we are rewarded with a great feeling inside, it is hard to explain....it's like the best unselfish self satisfying feeling.

... another road of life ... said...

nice post sir... Have A Blessed Life Time always...

Anoop K Bhagat said...

Keep spreading love like this.Today's material world needs it badly.

Love is a many colored affair.Love yourself, love your family, love your parents, love your neighbors, love people around YOU and you know it will COME BACK to you. So start loving.HE loves you too.

Susan Kane said...

To love someone who hates me or desires my demise requires the Grace of God. So thankful for His unending grace and peace.

dfish said...

The world uses the word "love" in such a shallow way, loving a certain food or movie, and speaking of making love, for example, it is not surprising people have no idea what real love is. Great post.

Jim said...

Thanks for reiterating HIS definition of Love. The older I get in the Lord, the more I realize the more I need to know about His Love!

Jim

PS: Thanks for the kind words about my blog "What Are You Expecting"

Isn't God Good!

Magdalene said...

this is lovely Lloyd and so nice to meet you...my prayer partner and I were just talking about the love that "sticks" and the fierceness of God's love...thank you for reading my blog-it is kind of the Lord to give us like-minded community. I am so sorry about your son, parenting is certainly a bless and release job, who knows on this side of heaven why things happen. I cling to the truth that our children belong to the Lord, it is the daily mercy, grace and strength in the job.
blessings,
Grace

Loknath said...

i love you jesus ............
visit my site

www.welcome2holyspirit.co.cc

Christian said...

Always put GOD above all.christian