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“I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me. You must continually let my love nourish your hearts.” John 15:9 TPT
Jesus wants to nourish our hearts, continually. Not just once. Not occasionally. Not just when He feels like it. But continually!
But the kicker here is we have a choice whether or not to receive His love and let us nourish us or not.
How do we receive nourishment from His love?
1. To get the love nourishment we need to grow, we need to read and study about His love in the Word.
So what does Jesus’s love looks like? Check out the gospel of John.
What does love mean? I Corinthians 13 for the Biblical definition of love & I John is good too.
2. Then we need to believe He loves us. Not just know it as trivia or a random fact. But to believe it so much, meditate on it and marinate in it so regularly, that it changes how we see ourselves.
Let it give you confidence in who the Father created you to be, and help you grow into the very best version of you.
Point to ponder while you wander… Today ponder what nourish means in the context of John 15:9 TPT
He is Love. So it is impossible for Him to stop loving you.
His love is constant. It never moves or changes or fades.
“Yes, Lord, let Your constant love surround us, for our hopes are in You alone.” Psalm 33:22
Love isn’t a just a mere feeling. Love is a person. Some call Him Yahweh, Jehovah, God, Father, or even Abba.
For we who are made in His image, love is choosing to be like Him. Choosing to be kind. Choosing to be patient. Choosing to be happy for others when they are thriving. Choosing not to rub their faces in it when things are rough.
Point to ponder while you wander…How will you reflect the image of Love today?
Most people look at love as an emotion….something you feel or sense. But this kind of love is like writing love in the sand. It looks like good and you think it will last…until…
…the initial high starts to wane. Maybe it’s a good thing…like a red flag telling you to look deeper Dah-ling, this person isn’t who they appear to be. More typically though it’s a first disagreement or a discovery that the object of your affection isn’t actually perfect. Anyway…the feeling lessens…
You move along and start to settle into a rhythm and routine then….
Then something serious happens or you meet another “more perfect” person for you and…
You say…”It’s not you, it’s me.” or “I just don’t love you anymore.”
That my friends is not what love is.
In dating relationships it’s okay to let people go who aren’t heading in the same direction as you or just aren’t someone you can build a life with. By all means…let those people go. Or people who make you feel lesser than or bad about yourself.
But love in marriage, long term, and family relationships. Love is not an emotion, my friend. It’s a CHOICE.
It’s a decision you make to be kind when you’d rather cut them down to size or prove you’re better or smarter.
It’s being patient when you are frustrated.
It’s not saying I told you so with your chest puffed out when you’re right.
It’s choosing to stay focused on the current situation and not bringing up every error that person has ever made.
It’s choosing to be happy for and celebrate one another’s victory…even when we’ve not had a victory in a while.
Love is holding someone’s hand and saying don’t be afraid, I’ll be right here with you.
Love is bending down and pulling someone out of the muck they’re in and helping them to clean up. Cheering them on. Believing in them.
I always want to guard and protect those I love but sometimes love is letting someone do what they want to even when you know it will probably end badly. Letting someone learn the hard way is sometimes the only way. Love steps back and allows people to make their own choices. But is willing to help after the person crashes and burns WITHOUT judgment and “I told you so.”
Love tells the truth even when it’s difficult and uncomfortable.
The reason I value my Mom so much is that she gave me boundaries as a kid with consequences but didn’t hover over me as an adult. She let me fall, but was there for me to love me when I did. Her love never quit.
The reason I love Jesus so much is that He never gave up on me, and let me figure out for myself who I wanted to be. His love never fails.
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” Jeremiah 31:3
I’m learning to love people better even those I completely disagree with. Some days I do better at it than others.
Point to ponder while you wander… God is love. And love is…
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT
“Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading in its hope; it can outlast anything. Love never fails.” I Corinthians 13:7-8
This is the definition of unconditional love, that His love never fails.
And I’m grateful because I haven’t been His easiest child to train up. I fight against Him when He’s trying to teach and heal me. I have refused to receive His love. I have begrudgingly obeyed when I didn’t want to do things He’s asked me to do.
Yep. Hard headed all the way.
That’s why the Old Testament gives me hope. The Israelites wandered for 40 years in the desert because they couldn’t shake the slave mentality off and believe their God.
I am 40. And I relate to the nomadic desert experience more than I care to admit. But I want to be different.
So here’s to shaking off the shackles of the past and walking into a new day of not only believing in God but believing that He is for me and not against me! Here’s to trusting His timing and not rushing and crashing around like a bull in a China shop! Here’s to believing that I am loved completely and accepted fully!
Point to ponder while you wander… “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NLT
I’m sure you have a goal, most people do. Maybe it’s getting in shape or getting healthy. Maybe it’s a degree or starting a new business/ministry. Goals give us a destination to focus on so that we don’t get distracted or quit when it gets tough. That’s why having goal or two is important.
Take a second or two to think of the most important goal to you right now. When you’ve got it…please continue reading.
Most people know I Corinthians 13. It’s the love chapter after all! Many people have it read at their wedding or hanging in a frame on their wall. But what many don’t realize is that chapters 12-14 of I Corinthians are all a part of one thought.
Chapter 12 explains spiritual gifts. It ends with verse 31: “So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. But let me show you a way of life that is best of all.”
The Apostle Paul then takes all of I Corinthians 13 to explain what love is and what it looks like. Real love isn’t about mushy gushy feelings, it is a choice. A choice to be patient with people. A choice to be kind. A choice to believe the best. Paul tells us that even if he were the most talented and had more gifts than anyone else and achieved more than anyone-if he didn’t live a life of love then he wasted his life.
With that in mind here’s how chapter 13 ends and 14 begins: “Three things will last forever-faith, hope and love- and the greatest of these is love. Let love be your highest goal!” I Cor 13:13-14:1
Now back to your most important priority goal. Is it love? Not mushy gushy love or finding THE ONE, but to actually live your life as described in I Corinthians 13. To be kind to the rude sales clerk. To believe the best about the idiot in the SUV who just cut you off. To celebrate one another’s successes even when your life hasn’t been going so well. To forgive the way you’ve been forgiven. That’s what love looks like.
I know I’m not there yet, and you probably aren’t either. But imagine how this world would change if everyone kept love as their priority goal!!
Something to think about over the weekend.
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” I Corinthians 13:6
Delight here refers to someone who is euphoric or overjoyed. Evil refers to an injustice or something that is bad. Rejoice is the same word as delight. It’s about being pumped for your life about seeing the truth prevail.
This verse is a serious heart check: What’s your reaction to something bad happening to someone you don’t like or someone who has hurt you? How about when something good happens to that person?
We’ve all been hurt. But doing a happy dance when someone else’s world gets rocked or their ship is sinking is unacceptable. It is also not okay to be stomping your feet and screaming about how unfair it all is when someone else’s life is sailing smooth.
Love says we are to encourage those who are down and pray for them. Love says we are to rejoice when others are blessed.
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” Matthew 5:44-46
“Love does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” I Corinthians 13:5
Record in the Greek actually comes from an accounting term that means to count or reckon. It literally means to credit to someone’s account. It brings to mind someone who painstakingly keeps track of every single thing someone does to them. It is the exact opposite of forgiveness.
When God forgives us, He forgets what we’ve done. He sees us pure, holy, worthy, accepted and beloved. He separates our sin from us as far as the East is from the West, Psalm 103:11-12 tells us: “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
Since this is God’s attitude and policy of forgiveness, we need to not only forgive others but also erase their actions from their account. Once we’ve been forgiven our sins/mistakes/screw ups/etc are covered in the blood of Jesus and God remembers them no more. (Hebrews 8:12 & 10:17 and Jeremiah 31). Since God forgives and forgets, so should we.
This includes forgiving yourself!
I don’t know about you, but it is easier for me to forgive someone else for what they’ve done to me than it is to forgive myself for the things I’ve done. I tend to remind God what I’ve done and try to disqualify myself from what He’s trying to do in me or for me. But God expects us to let go of the past and move forward. Paul said in his letter to the Philippians that He may not be there yet, but he’s pressing to get there. “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:13-14
Before he was saved on the road to Damascus, Paul was responsible for the imprisonment and deaths of disciples and followers of Jesus Christ. He could never undo what he had done. But when He accepted Jesus, his past was washed away by the blood. He was a new man. If Paul had focused on his past, and beat himself up over and over again, how could he have written 2/3 of the New Testament and reached the people he did? Truth is he couldn’t have.
So make a decision today to let go of the past and forgive those you are holding things against. Including yourself. Burn those ledgers. Move on. When the enemy tries to remind you of your past, choose to ignore him and instead speak this. “I am forgiven because of Jesus’ sacrifice, that mistake/sin is under the blood of Jesus. I am a child of the Most High God, and He loves me with an everlasting love. I have a hope and a future. I was called before the foundation of the world. I will forget the past and look forward to what lies ahead. I will press on to reach the end. I will not quit.”
Note: We really are called to forgive and forget BUT there are times when people have broken your trust beyond repair. You still must forgive them, for your own sake, but you do not have to repair and restore the relationship. If the relationship is hazardous to your physical person or if that person talks down to you and makes you feel bad about yourself, you don’t have to allow that person in your life. You have the right to end that relationship. God does not want you to be mistreated, taken advantaged of, or abused.