3/21 Days of Prayer
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV – Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
When we try to define love our responses are extremely varied based on the lives we have lived and the love we have been shown. Our personal definitions of love are shaped by our experience over our lifetime. For some of us love has been defined as short-lived, performance-based, manipulative, or self-serving. Others of us might have experienced a 1 Corinthians 13 type of love that is kind, humble, and others-focused. It’s easy to read this passage of the Bible and use it as a checklist for how we should behave in order to please God, but before love becomes a behavior in a Christian’s life, it must be an experience of the Christian. Our encounter with the God of Love is what initially made us Christians. Paul could have encouraged us to be more patient and less envious, instead, he urges us to encounter a love that captures us and empowers us.
Jesus knew that on this earth we have no reference for what perfect love is without Him. Consequently, He has Paul pen the definition of what love is.
Bears all things. The original translation of “bears’’ is that it always covers an offense. Forgiveness is always available, no matter the transgression. No matter how many times someone fails, love forgives again and again.
Believes all things. Paul lets us know that real love is always committed and never disengages, no matter how costly.
Hopes all things. Hope speaks to our future. Every time hope is found throughout the New Testament joy coincides with it. I often think about it in this way – hope looks to our future with joy!
Endures all things. There is nothing that could make love quit on us or walk away. Heaven paid the highest price, Jesus, to have a relationship with you. We consistently place our confidence in Jesus’ sacrifice and know that God will never quit on us.
As you read through the Biblical definition of love, what stands out to you?
Declare: God has forever settled His love towards me.