Posts Tagged perfect love

God . . . bears all things

1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 7

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things.

Love abides all things and survives. The ERV Bible reads, “Love never gives up on people.” It is good, no, it is great that God loves us with this kind of affection. No matter what we do; no matter how far we may have traveled from the path, His love never gives up on us. Another translation says, “Love never stops being patient” (God’s Word). That is a bit hard to imagine but He never, ever gives up on anyone. He is patient with us as we endeavor to find our way. God still loves that person that we think of as being far from the truth. That is not to say that He approves of their path or choices but His love remains undiminished. There is not one thing any of us can do to make God love us even one iota less than if we were perfect. His love cannot be earned with any amount of good works or perfect behavior. He loves us because at the foundation of the earth He chose to. When He first envisioned human beings He made a decision to love us and the only way God can love is as the unfettered, unearned, patient, caring love that He is. He is bound by who He is and He is love as it is defined in this chapter. Love bears up under all things. It does not fail because of wrongs suffered. God’s love is perfect.

We can love in the same way but it is important to say that while we can continue to love someone who has wronged us we do not stay yoked with people who abuse us. We continue to love them as God does and we can pray with God’s kind of love issuing from our hearts but that is not the same as allowing ourselves to be mistreated. Relationships are built upon reciprocal kindness. I want you to accept God’s love as He means it and I want you to love others with the love that God gives you. I do not want you to think that makes you a victim to every person that wants to abuse you. That is not God’s best for you. We have to be wise in whom we associate with. The book of Proverbs teaches us that. God is not raising up victims but rather victors. Love is the most powerful force in the universe. We can and should express God’s love in this world because in Jesus we are the light of the world. Let your light shine by letting more of God’s love fill you. He is the love that never gives up on you, the love that bears all things.

No Fear Here

1 John 4: 18

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

We have heard this verse often enough but I wonder how deeply we understand it. People don’t come to Christ because they are “afraid” of what they will have to give up. In other words, they are afraid of the punishment if they call themselves Christians and yet continue in their lifestyle. That is all backwards. God doesn’t call people to the fold in order to punish them. The weight of their sin is on them now. Jesus came and died that their sin might transfer to him. They are under the judgment of the law now. Christ came to set us all free (Galatians 5: 1).

God is love and there is no fear in love. There is no fear in God and no fear in those who are in God. You have been set free from fear and death. Moreover, you have been freed from the curse of the law. You needn’t have fear of punishment. Being in the house of God is to be in the house of liberty. Christ has freed us from the fear of judgment by shedding his blood for our sins. The question is no longer about punishment but rather reward.
Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11: 6). God is a rewarder of those who seek Him, not a punisher. He has saved you by His grace and Jesus’ blood in order to remove you from the bane of punishment and instead put you in the house of His good mercies so that He can pour out on you the rewards of His household. Can someone shout?

What we should learn and make known is that we haven’t given up a thing to follow Jesus. We have only gained. If we clean up our act a little bit, it is because we love God and want to be with Him. He does not require us to change in order to love us. However, I want good rewards and that is motivation, and much better motivation than punishment. “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done” (Matthew 16:27). Give me some of that! I want to see Jesus in all his father’s glory and I want to feel good about standing with him. He will love me regardless but I want to clean up and I want to follow him and I know you are the same way.

As the revelation of God’s love blossoms in our hearts, this will be our only perception. We will have no fear of any kind much less the fear of retribution from our Father. When we understand a love so deep that it is sacrificial, then there is no way we will concern even one cell of our brains with the fear of what God will do to us. He sent Jesus to save, not condemn so there is therefore no longer fear. There is no fear in love, no fear in God.

The Essential Nature of God

1 John 4: 8

God is love.

1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 8

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes al things hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

God is love. It is His essential nature; what He is, what He is made of. Love is not an attribute of God, not one of His characteristics. It is the substance of who and what He is. We cannot separate love from God but many people, even those of the church, have lost the certainty of that statement. We understand with our minds that God is love but in our hearts we still hold onto a God who is vengeful and wrathful.

When we combine the two verses for today we get an accurate picture of God. God is patient, God is kind, and is not jealous; God does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; He does not seek His own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes al things hopes all things, endures all things. God never fails.

Our God is the perfect parent. Love drives everything He does. His love is sacrificial and unselfish. He is everything we want in a friend, spouse or parent and He is all those to us. He is perfect love. There is no fear in His presence because perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4: 18). Our God who is mighty in deed is as gentle as a lamb. 

We really must get a deep revelation of this lover who is our God. We need to hold deep within our hearts the absolute truth of the Father’s love for each one of us individually. There is no power until there is this abiding truth within us. Your Father loves you absolutely and unconditionally. Meditate on that until you cannot be swayed. Then you will soar with wings as eagles.