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love never fails

Daily Devotion and Scripture - Getting wisdom

Loving Well

Loving well.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (NIV)

 

There might not be any greater passage than this for our Christian walk. The commandments of God throughout the Old and New Testaments guide us into communion with Him. When we obey, we will find ourselves immersed in the presence of God. But all of these commandments, Jesus said, are summed up in the act of loving God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves. The depth of our spiritual communion with God is dependent upon how well we love.

Most of us think of love as an emotion. And it is true there are people in our life that we have a definite emotional affinity for. These are friends, family, and romantic relationships. There is a bursting or euphoria in our hearts when we think about what they mean to us. But love is not simply an emotion. True love is also a skill.

Love is patient. You may have a deep affectionate love for someone, but when you lose your patience with them, you are not loving them in the moment. Patience, however, is not an emotion. It is a skill. I can work on becoming more patient. I can pray and seek the Lord and the Holy Spirit will mature me into a higher level of patience. Patience is love that endures when the feelings are not there.

Love that endures regardless of how we feel about a person at any given moment immerses us into the glorious presence of God. When our love endures as God’s love endures, it is only possible through our communion with God.

The world loves those who love them. But this is nothing more than a selfish affection. As long as others are patient with us, then we will be patient with them. The problem is that if they are us are being patient, then neither of us have much of a reason to be patient. It’s easy. Jesus said even pagans can do this. Loving better means loving people as God loves them even when we don’t feel it. When Jesus was betrayed, tortured, and murdered, His response was love: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

As enduring love is defined for us in this passage, notice none of what love is has an emotional component. The only emotion mentioned is anger and love is NOT easily angered. How well are you loving?

 

Prayer: Lord, give me the power to grasp how deep is your love for me and help me to improve in loving others when I don’t feel like it. Amen.

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Love Never Fails

Love Never Fails or Does It?

 

God is love (1 John 4:8) so if we are to know God, we must know love.  God defines love for us in Scripture (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).  He tells us that love never ends, love never fails, love endures all things, but does it?

The power of love is obvious.  It is the love of God revealed through the Scripture, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit that has released power to turn millions of hearts from pride and selfishness to love, humility, and generosity.  He loved us first (1 John 4:19) and when we realize the depth of His love, we fall in love with Him and want to honor Him with our life.  Lives are changed by the love of God in Jesus Christ.  

But not everyone has turned back to God.  The Bible is also clear that there are even some who will know the love of God and still turn away.  This can be a mystery for us when we are in difficult relationships.  If love never fails, it would seem that if I can love well or at least love better, it would save the relationship.  To rescue marriages, one would only need to love like Christ.  To rescue wayward teenagers, one would only need to love them and they would change.  But we know this is not the reality.  Jesus loved perfectly.  He is perfect love, yet in the end, many people hated Him.  Yet, we must hold true to the Word and declare that love never fails.  Love never ends.  But how do we reconcile these two truths?

God is love and love is God.  God is eternal without beginning nor end.  Because He is eternal so then is love.  Love is not what God does.  It is the essence of His being.  And we know God is omnipotent.  He has no enemy to dethrone Him.  He is and will always be king.  So, in this sense love endures forever.

When we accept Christ, it is God who comes into our spirit.  Jesus Christ comes into our heart by the Holy Spirit.  So also then, love enters into our heart, the agape love of God is what I am referring to not the ungodly, conditional, self-centered manner of love we see in society where God is absent.  Because God is love, to hold on to God, we must embrace and never release the love that is God.  And as we are united with God, we are united with love.  When we reject God, the outcome will always be a release of love which is the same as an increase of sin.  They are opposites.  

Holding on to God, holding on to love, keeps me united with God just as Jesus prayed for us to be at one with God just as He was at one with the Father.  When I reject God, and thus reject love, I no longer have the essence of that which will endure forever.  What remains is not of God and will be destroyed.  The destruction will occur in stages beginning in this life and continue in the afterlife.  Should this happen, love did not fail.  Love endured.  Love may be rejected, but it never fails.  When I take hold of love by taking hold of God, that love in me will transform me and accomplish the will of God in me.  To reject God is to dismiss love.  It is not that love would fail as much as love is now absent.

When we hold on to love, His power in us will accomplish His will through us and being united in Him, we will be more than overcomers in all things.  And how do we know if we are holding on to God?  It is made evident by our motives and lifestyle.  If these are full of His love, we hold tight to God.  If these are empty of His love, we deceive ourselves to think we are still holding on to God.  And this brings me to our Verse of the Day:

 

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

John 3:36 (ESV)

Leave me a comment.  When is it hard to hold on to love?

 

Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!

Pastor Lee.net

 

 

 

PS: Be sure to subscribe and I will send you “10 Principles for Living in God’s Abundant Plan for Your Life.”

Stronger Than the Mountains

Stronger than the Mountains

I love the indescribable beauty we find in natural phenomena such as the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls.  These are things I would love to see. I am fascinated by the power of nature and how an earthquake at the bottom of the ocean can create a wave (tsunami) large enough to destroy entire cities.  Or how when the tectonic plates of the Earth move, mountains can literally be formed or wiped away. Mountains are used as symbols of strength. They seem immovable, so resolute, but the truth is that mountains can be wiped away.  Here is our Verse of the Day:

 

Isaiah 54:10

10 Though the mountains be shaken

and the hills be removed,

yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken

nor my covenant of peace be removed,”

says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

(NIV)

 

The Lord presents a comparison of strength.  Which is stronger: the mountains or His unfailing love?  The hills or His covenant of peace? Think about the Himalayas for a moment, the largest most daunting mountain in the world.  What seismic movement would be necessary to level this great rock! I doubt our scientists have developed an instrument of measurement that could quantify the power of an earthquake that would level the Himalayas.  Yet, all of that strength and power at the core of our Earth cannot stand against the power of God’s unfailing love.

There is no power, no earthquake, no tsunami that can level the peak of His love for humanity.  There is no flood, tornado, hurricane great enough to bring down the high summit of His covenant for us.  Everything that we see on this Earth will one day pass away. The Bible teaches us that one day the Earth will be destroyed and God will create a new Heaven and a new Earth (Revelation 21:1).  All that we can see that has been created can be destroyed. But the Creator will always be. He is the Eternal.  

This is why His unfailing love is stronger than the mountain.  God is love. Love created the mountain. Love is eternal and the mountains will fall into the sea.  His covenant, His promise will never die because God will never die. He cannot be shaken and all that is in Him cannot be shaken.  All that is in Him is greater than the mountains. His love, His joy, His peace, His mercy, His grace, His promises, His breath cannot be shaken.  When we are in Him, He is our strength (Philippians 4:13) and we cannot be shaken.

Curses, sickness, wickedness, Lucifer and his angels, none of these are in Him.  They will be destroyed. But greater is He who is in you (1 John 4:4) than all of these that would come against you.  When we are in Him, He is forever (Isaiah 26:4) and anything that comes against our faith is not in Him and it cannot last.  The Lord will give us a sustaining spirit (Psalm 51:12) and the armor of God to withstand these temporary attacks so that when they have passed, we will still be standing firm in our faith (Ephesians 6:13).

And why go after those things that will not last.  The Bible calls on us to pursue the unfailing love of God that will never die.  The Lord calls us into the eternal covenant relationship that brings peace to our soul.  To pursue the things of this world is to pursue what will not last (1 Corinthians 9:25).

And should we ever find ourselves outside of Him, a rebel refusing the love of God, a traitor to the covenant, we do not have to wonder if He will take us back.  The unfailing love is always ready, watching for us to return. The offer of a relationship that gives us all that He is is an offer that will never die. The prodigal son had rejected everything, but He came to His senses and went back to His father who saw his son from a long way off and ran to Him (Luke 15:20).  This is our God. He cannot be moved (Hebrews 12:28). And as we remain in Him, neither shall we be moved (Psalm 62:6). Praise His Holy Name!

Is there anything, any attack attempting to move you away from faith in our Lord Jesus Christ?  Leave me a comment. I would love to pray for you to have greater strength than your trouble.  

And thank you to those who have been sharing these devotions.  I pray God put them before the eyes of those who need to hear from Him and His Word.  Keep liking, sharing, and tweeting and may the Lord bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you (Numbers 6:24-26).

Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!

Pastor Lee.net


Pastor Lee and AmyPastor Lee is a pastor and Biblical life coach.  He has been helping people through counseling, pastoring, teaching, and preaching for 20+ years.  His ministry focuses on helping people overcome the strongholds of the past and press on into God’s plan for an abundant life.  He has been married to his wife, Amy for 28 years.  He has three sons and one daughter-in-love.  For more about Pastor Lee or to get some Biblical advice, go to the About page.