February, the month we all talk about love. I was going to resist, but God wouldn’t let me. I lead an online Bible Study and we are dealing with 1 Corinthians 13. I am using a Max Lucado Study guide. Reading his study guide and listening to God brought me the message I want to share with you.
I had always enjoyed reading 1 Corinthians 13. It was a sweet passage. Then one day someone suggested I read it and put my name in it. So, I read it like this: Becky is patient, Becky is kind, Becky doesn’t brag, and isn’t arrogant, and so on. That passage changed for me. It wasn’t so sweet when I made it personal. I began to see where some of my faults were.
This is a passage that we just can’t live up to. We can accomplish some things and at points in our lives we are patient, kind and not arrogant, but to live this way daily we can’t do it. We live here on earth; it’s just not possible. Do I beat myself up over it? No, I just accept that there are some things I can do and do well and other things I need God to work on yet. A construction job in process is exactly what I am.
One morning as I was reading my study guide Max suggested we put Christ in place of love. So it would read like this: Christ is patient, Christ is kind, Christ doesn’t brag, or isn’t arrogant and Christ isn’t rude and so on. Now the passage once again makes sense to me and is much sweeter. I want a Savior who is patient with me. I want a kind Savior especially when I mess up for the hundredth time for the same thing. I like this verse too, Christ never fails. I need to know I have put my hope, faith and trust in someone who is all these things to me. I need to know when people fail me there is someone in my life who will never fail me or disappoint me.
Max suggests that rather than let this Scripture remind us of a love we cannot produce, let it remind us of a love we cannot resist – God’s love. Some of us have been looking for love in all the wrong places. Some of us have never known what love could be. When we place our lives in Christ we can know what true love is all about. God’s love for us never fails, He never gives up on us, He is never rude to us and He is never arrogant towards us. He never keeps a record of those things we have done wrong, He doesn’t list our complaints. He listens to us and then gently works through those things with us.
If you are seeking love this year and just can’t seem to find it look toward Christ for filling that void. If you have had trouble knowing what love is or what it looks like look toward Christ and find the true meaning of love.
Once we turn our lives over to Christ and we allow Him to love us to the fullest we then begin to emulate Him. At times we begin to be patient and kind. We find we are at times not so jealous and we aren’t arrogant. Once we let Christ live in us we find we aren’t as irritable and people look a little different to us. When we understand fully that God doesn’t count our mistakes or keep a record of our complaints we let go of those things we are holding onto against those who have wronged us or complained about us. We can then begin the journey of living our lives through the fruits of the Spirit, “But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” Galatians 5:22-24 (The Message)
We will never fully live out 1 Corinthians 13 while living on this earth, God knows that, but what He does expect from us is an attempt. We first turn our lives over to Him, let Him fully live in us and then ask Him to help us accomplish 1 Corinthians 13.
Take the time to read 1 Corinthians 13 placing Christ’s name in place of love. Do you know this Christ? Do you know this love? I encourage you today to get to know this Christ and His love for you. Christ is passionately waiting for you to come to Him.
Accept His love and His way of life for you and you will receive the blessings He has waiting just for you.
Dear Lord, 1 Corinthians is an example of your love for me. It shows just how much you love me and if I come to you I can experience not only this love you have for me , but the many blessings you have in store for me. Remind me not to beat myself up when I fail to live up to this passage. Teach me O Lord that it is more about your love for me. I can’t accomplish this while I am here on earth, but I can begin to move forward and begin to work on those things you have shown me I need to work on. As I move forward in your love help me to begin the put the fruits of the Spirit in my life and live fully for you each day. Amen