“Love endures long and is patient and kind.”
1 Corinthians 13:4a (AMPC)
A true disciple lives by God’s standard, which is to love God’s way. It is easy to love someone who treats you well, says what you want to hear, and loves you back. Endurance is to stay the course while experiencing something painful or difficult. Enduring long is choosing to trust God by allowing His Word to be our final authority. Love is not an emotion; it is a decision. Jesus made the decision to love us by enduring the painful torture of the Cross. Despite the betrayal and rejection of those closest to Him, Jesus loved according to God’s standard. But it is not just about enduring, it is how we endure.
Here we see the word “and.” God’s standard is that while we are enduring, by staying the course and trusting God, we do so patiently. Patience means that we are full of faith, despite the overwhelming hurt or confusion we may be experiencing. Faith to believe that God is our Healer. Faith to fight against the spirit of strife, division, and disappointment vs. putting up walls. Patience means that we refuse to be anxious and try to manipulate the situation on our behalf. Patience means that we allow the peace of God to rule in our hearts as we love God’s way.
Now there is one more “and.” Yes, God’s standard of loving people is that while we are enduring in our fight for unity, as well as being patient to trust God, we are also demonstrating kindness to the very one who has hurt us. God’s standard of love means that we make the decision to be kind in our tone, with our words, in our attitude, and our actions towards that person or group of people.
Faith works by love. Our faith in God to heal, restore, and reconcile every situation, works when we choose to endure AND be patient AND be kind.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
How do we love this way? The Holy Spirit has poured God’s love into our hearts. Our part is surrendering to His love. Whenever I have experienced offense, hurt or rejection, I know that the person I need to run to is God. Whether there are tears in my eyes, or I can feel myself becoming defensive, I know I need to get into my secret place. It is there that the Holy Spirit lovingly leads me in the following way:
• I cry out and receive the outpouring of His love (Eph 3:17-19)
• I repent to God and take responsibility for the condition of my heart (1 John 1:9)
• I receive His forgiveness (Ps 86:5)
• I choose to forgive that person (Mark 11:25)
• I pray and declare blessings over them in my secret place (Luke 6:28)
• I humble myself, go to that person, and ask for forgiveness (Mat 5:23-24)
• I choose to endure and be patient and kind (1 Cor 13:4a)
"Lord, today I choose to love according to Your standard. Holy Spirit I ask for Your help as I humble myself to change. I know that God’s love in me enables me to endure and be patient and kind."
TODAY'S BIBLE READING
- Old Testament: 2 Kings 24-25; Psalms 122
- New Testament: Luke 7:1-10; Philippians 4:14-23