Posts Tagged 1 Corinthians 13: 3 – 7

Fill the Tank

John 5: 19

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.”

Yesterday we read 1 Corinthians 13: 3 – 7 which is commonly known as the love chapter. The Message version certainly brought out some interesting and key highlights. It put the passage into plain language for us which makes the scripture very easy for us to understand and relate to. It also makes it difficult for us to ignore though. We cannot intellectually duck below the radar, avoiding those challenging sections.

In yesterday’s Word of the Day I encouraged you to live according to 1 Corinthians 13. It was a bit unfair of me to implore you to do something without giving you the “How To” instructions so today I am going to give you the secret to living in love exactly the way Jesus did.

Some of you, when you read yesterday’s Word of the Day, made a commitment to live the love walk. You made a decision to adopt 1 Corinthians 13 as your lifestyle. Let me tell you though, this is not something you can accomplish by an act of your will. It is too big and we are not strong enough in ourselves for such a herculean effort but I do admire you greatly for you commitment to the Father.

Truly there is only one way to live the love commandment. So here is the big reveal. If you take this one big secret and integrate it into your life you will have the keys to The Kingdom. Okay – the secret is that you must receive the love of God. God is love (1 John 4: 8). In order to live love you must receive love. How can we say we have received God if we have not received love?  The two are inseparable.

May I be honest with you a moment? I see so many Christians whose life is far from characterized by love. You can see the hurt in them. And subsequently, hurt is all they have to share. Whatever you have within you is what you will communicate to others. We dedicate our lives to God. We do service to Him or for Him but far too few of us ever allow God to actually penetrate our beings; too few bare their hearts to the Father and allow Him to move in and set up house. Even those of us who allow God in don’t let Him arrange the furniture or mend the drapes. We keep Him as a guest and sequester Him to certain rooms. This is not a criticism. It is simply experience. It is the experience of a great number of Christians. So we try to live the love commandment but we don’t have the love to give. We have not received it so we cannot give it.

Look at your life and ask this question, “Would those around me say that I demonstrate the love of God?” Don’t entertain your own opinion because it is likely skewed. Would your children say that above all else you are a lover? What about your spouse? Now, don’t condemn yourself if the honest answer is that you are not expressing the level of love that you imagine God wants for you. I suspect for most of us that will be the response. The solution, though, is not to re-dedicate yourself to the love commandment. The real answer is to humble yourself before the Father and ask Him to fill you with His love. Ask Him to touch the broken places and minister His healing. Then tomorrow, you can do the same thing. This is a journey rather than a onetime experience. We heal in bits, we receive the fullness of God’s love in doses. Fill up as much as you can today and then receive more tomorrow. There is no end to the vastness of the Father’s love.

If you wish to walk in the earth as Jesus did then you must use his formula. He received everything from the Father and then gave it away. We can walk as Jesus walked but only if we have the same power at work within us. That power is the love of the Father. Fill up you tank today.

The Bottom Line

1 Corinthians 13: 3-7      (The Message Bible)

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Love is the bottom line. God is love and the only way that we are truly going to reflect the image of Christ and become like Him as we say we wish to, is to major on love. We must arrest ourselves when we feel ourselves acting in a way that is inconsistent with the above text. We should repent when we find that we have contravened any of the guiding principles we see in this passage. Only then can we begin to turn ourselves to a life that is governed by the rule of love. This is no small task. Rather it is likely the most difficult journey any of us will ever make. Yet because we love the Lord, we will strive to be like Him in this most vital way. Because He first loved us, we are willing, and even desire to walk a life of love for His name’s sake.