THEME: Love (II)
KEY VERSE: “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 never dies……
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” 1 Corinthians 13 : 4-8, 13 The Message translation
The first thing I am going to draw your attention to in our verse is the second last sentence: ‘Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.’. Trust God is first on the list of things to do before Christ comes again (or completeness as it is termed here). Indeed when you are loving someone; be it a friend, neighbour or partner trusting God is the fundamental grounding. I know that I could love my future husband extravagantly when and if I trust God completely.
I am a storyteller at heart so I am going to tell you a brief story to try and explain my thoughts a little better, it is fictional.
A man who has turned from God all his life in anger at the situations he has lived through has a friend, a Christian friend who is a doctor. The doctor, for last seven years of his life has loved his friend extravagantly trying to show him the love of God through his actions and friendship. A year after the doctor dies, the man comes to Christ, knowing that only God can give him peace as well as forgiveness. Quickly he discovers he needs a church to flourish in his new faith and decides to attend the church of his late friend. The minister recognises him immediately, brings him to his house for tea and excuses himself to fetch something. The minister returns with a old, worn, gold cross which belonged to the doctor who gave it to the minister before he died, to give to his friend when he found God. Speechless the man asks how his friend could possibly know, the minister replies that ‘Samuel (the doctor) had great faith.’
In this albeit fictional story, the doctor trusted God completely. Despite the fact he never saw his friend come to Christ he trusted God to work in His timing and His way. Everyone takes a different amount of time, only God knows the time. Only God knows and understands the heart of the child who does not believe or has not accepted Him. Do love extravagantly, but ensure that you love on the sure foundation of trust in God and hope in His plan for us.
I hope to encourage you, dear friends. Sometimes we need to step back and allow God to work without our hands, never believe that your love has been in vein. God’s love is our engine and with the wheels of hope and body of trust, we could go anywhere.
PRAYER: Lord our God and Saviour, thank you so much that you have called us into a relationship with you. Thank you that you saved us to serve and you do not abandon us but equip us with love and hope. Thank you that you drive us forward with your love, that your love is pure and never gives up. May we feel encouraged and strengthened in you to continue unswervingly trusting in you. When we feel down hearted may we remember that You Father love us your children greatly. May we feel your love for those whom you have placed around us and trust you and your heart for them always. Amen.