Sunday, February 6, 2011

God Never Fails


So in this month dedicated to the topic of Love, let’s look at some of the attributes of Love. In other words, what is love? Well, the first thing that can be established is what the Bible says about the topic. Paul, writing to the church in Corinth, had this to say…

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 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. 8 Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 (NIV)

It is a great list of Love’s attributes and characteristics, and a very famous passage. Basically, Paul says that love is the greatest of the Spiritual Gifts (read chpts 12 and 14) as well as the first of the Fruits of the Spirit. (see Galatians 5 and my take on the fruit here) So, love makes both lists. We should have all of the Fruits of the Spirit, and everybody has at least one gift. So you should be a loving person in there somewhere!

But what makes love so valuable as a Believer?
1) Jesus said it would distinguish us from non-Believers.
2)It is a part of the Greatest Commandment, and the second Greatest…Love God, love your neighbor.
3) It is the embodiment of God. Therefore, to love is to be godlike (little g) and to have love is to have God.

John told us in 1 John 4 that we should “ love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (7-8)

God doesn’t just love. He IS love. So John says God is Love, the embodiment of that elusive thing. And Paul describes love as an attribute that we should strive to make most near and important to our lives. So, let’s smash these concepts and re-read 1 Corinthians 13, shall we? I'm replacing the word Love (agapao) with the word God (Theos)

If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don’t have God, I’m a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and I know all the mysteries and everything else, and if I have such complete faith that I can move mountains but I don’t have God, I’m nothing. If I give away everything that I have and hand over my own body to feel good about what I’ve done but I don’t have God, I receive no benefit whatsoever. For God is patient, God is kind, God it isn’t jealous, God doesn’t brag, God isn’t arrogant, God isn’t rude, God doesn’t seek His own advantage, God isn’t irritable, God doesn’t keep a record of complaints, God isn’t happy with injustice, but He is happy with the truth. God puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.
God never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 (CEV)

No. He doesn’t. When we manifest love in our lives and the lives of others, we manifest the most powerful attribute of God. His unending mercy.

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