Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Love Is --
I Corinthians 12:31
So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.
Ol' Paul is getting down to the meat on the bone as he wraps up chapter 12 of I Corinthians.
That pretty heady stuff....
"Let me show you a way of life.....a way of doing business with each other and the world...."
Then he goes on to label this way of life as being "The Best Of All".
Seems to me that if Paul was hammering on this particular nail, we ought to maybe pay attention.
If you follow Paul's thinking over into chapter 13 you come to the realization that he's talking about America's favorite subject.....Love. Of course, a lot of people here in the good ol' US of A, have no clue as to what love really is. I would go as far as to say that there are a good number of folks out there who think LOVE=SEX. And these poor souls are walking around with a driver's license and can vote.
You see, the devil hates the truth about what real love is. Anything that God has going on, the devil wants to lay hold of it and twist it and corrupt it. Change the definition of it so as to make us all feel that we are a progressive society. We're progressing all right. But did anyone stop to ask which direction we're progressing in?
I sure that most of you, if not all of you, who are reading this posting have read I Corinthians 13, often referred to as the LOVE chapter. Paul goes down a list as to what real love is.
First on the list of love is Patient. I like this.
Paul writes that "Love is patient".
Love is a today presence. Love is....not love was.....or love shall be.
The one thing I have come to know is that love....real love...God-kind-of-love is a choice not an emotion. See here's where ol' slew foot (the devil--if you've never heard this term) wants to take the things of God and bring them down to humanity level of thinking. We took the word love and have attached all manner of syrupy, gooey, sugary, meaning to it. Now, don't get me wrong, love does stir our emotions, but our emotions do not define when we are in love, or when we aren't in love. As far as I read this thing, love is a constant for anyone who is chasing after Jesus.
My Bible says that God IS love.
You can't separate God from who He is. It defines everything He does. It colors every word He speaks. It is the power and fuel that causes Him to interact with us, His creation. Oh, but some will say, "Take a look at the Old Testament...you won't see God loving much there!" I beg to differ with you. Love is everywhere in the Old Testament. Do you think God just got up one morning and decided to kill everyone on the planet except for a man named Noah, and his family? No! God's heart of love defined a period of time where Noah preached to everyone who would listen about the coming destruction. Now who is really responsible if a warning was given (which was done out of God's love for the people) and no one heeds it. If you're walking toward a dangerous situation that could cost you your life, and I'm trying to turn you but you reject my efforts and wind up getting killed, then who is responsible? Me? Or You? I think that would be a big ol' capital U.
God is patient. His perfect will is that no one should perish. The way out of our darkness and sin has been given to us. We must choose His way of love. We must embrace His way of life.
I confess to you that I'm still working on learning how to love as God does.
It doesn't come natural to me, which only confirms how much more work God has to do in me. He's teaching....and I'm learning. I hope what my wife says about me is true. She has always said that I was very teachable. Maybe we all need to be about the kingdom business of learning how to love each other as God does, as well as those out there in the world.
God on you...
The fall of 1969.... "One way, Man!" One Way! I saw him across the common at Gadsden State. I was headed to my next class and...