4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
I searched for the perfect image for today’s post and in doing so I was struck by how many of them are so close to the one above. The word “LOVE” in large letters down the side with the descriptions listed down the page. It is a very nice image, don’t you think?
You can not escape the fact that there are so many verbs in the Scripture (in the image). This makes it hard to escape, as well, that love is action. I’m aging but that is the very first thing we learn about verbs, “look for the action.” Despite all the rapidly changing knowledge, I am pretty certain that this has not changed. You want to find a verb, look for the action. Relating this to love, we can say that if we want to find love, look for the action.
SSSsssooo, when I hear Jesus speaking as in the following verse, I need a little help.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you,
so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are
my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
The help I need is with the visual. You see, my heart can be hard, stubborn, emotional, self-focused and even hurt. SSSssssoooo, realizing that God got it right in speaking His Word just precisely as He did, describing so many actions, it helps me to take this verse and step through it in a very deliberate, action by action manner. I need to change the “it” to the subject, “LOVE.” 🙂 Kinda, sorta like this:
This allows me to see that this verse is describing how love acts, not how love feels. I know that this is a foreign language to some of us but the reality of the verse tells us how love behaves. The Lord has blessed us with a picture of love in action. Jesus himself demonstrated and gave us the greatest reality of love in action and in the John verses, He commands us to love one another in this same way.
This means that the action described in 1 Corinthians 13 are to be my actions. Remember the fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited,provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26
It is such a beautiful picture of the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of believers. On review, we are able to see how the two verses align with one another. SSSssssoooo, since the Holy Spirit lives in me, and His fruit is love…the image must now have my name on it: Pat is patient, Pat is kind, Pat does not envy, Pat does not boast…all the way through the verse.
The truth is Jesus died so this miracle of love in action would be more than an image in a post, or a journal, or my name written beside the passage in a Bible BUT that it would be so much more than an image…that love in action would be a very present reality. I need His help…how about you? So we pray for we need Him every hour, minute of the day:
O Heavenly Father! You are Great and greatly to be praised as the Holy and Righteous God of love, grace, and mercy! How we thank you for Your precious gift of Jesus and His love demonstrated by His presence and completed mission here on earth. We thank you for our salvation and relationship in Christ. Our sincere desire is love as you have loved and love us. We ask that You would ‘search us, God, and know our hearts; test us and know our anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in us, and lead us in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).’ In those times that we are not love in action, please strengthen us to repent and walk in Your Spirit. May your children love as You have loved us and thereby become the fragrance of your love and glory in this world. In Jesus Name, Amen!