Incredible Love

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called Children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” (1 Jn 3:1)

The Apostle Paul tells us that while other things pass away - love lasts, it never fails (1 Cor 13:8). It is powerful and fierce, precious and tender, yet it only has one source… God! All that it requires is that we behold it, receive it and give it away… but it will change you in the process. It is able to be released upon the worthy and unworthy alike. And all the world is longing to experience its reality… through us.

“And now abide faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these [is] love.” (1 Cor 13:13)

Were you to accept the challenge to truly love others the way that God, in Christ has loved you, well, you might find yourself frustrated and exhausted. The key is being emersed in the Father’s love. Letting yourself be loved by God and allow that flow of life to advance through you to others… its Christ in you, the hope of Glory (Col 1:27).

CHRIST IN YOU… SUFFERS LONG - This is a patience not merely with circumstances, but with people. When you have the power to hold unforgiveness against another person and don’t do it. Literally, you are showing long-suffering. The ability to be wronged over and over again, is a love that equips us to see beyond the present.

CHRIST IN YOU… WILL BE KIND – The other side of patience is taking grief in stride, without resentment. Offering kind words and giving anything to be helpful and useful. Kindness is a balm for healing wounds.

CHRIST IN YOU… DOES NOT ENVY - Never jealous. The root word here is “to boil or seethe”. This is not merely to want what others have; it’s the compelling feelings of not wanting others to have what I can’t have.

CHRIST IN YOU… WILL NOT PARADE ITSELF - Is not boastful or full of itself. The root word… “windbag”. I’ve said enough.

CHRIST IN YOU… IS NOT PUFFED UP -  Not conceited. The attitude of pride. Believing, “we are better than others.” It is when one becomes inflated with their own importance.

CHRIST IN YOU… WILL NOT BEHAVE RUDELY- Being rude is seen as living with a lack of grace. The Greek word for grace and charm are the same. In Christ we become honorable people.

CHRIST IN YOU… WILL NOT SEEK IT’S OWN – Or isn’t insistent upon its rights. The idea that it must be “my way” sounds good in a song, but is not a Biblical ethic. Jesus took upon Himself the form of a servant (Phil 2:5-8).

CHRIST IN YOU… IS NOT PROVOKED – Never flies into a rage. This speaks to the idea of becoming exasperated. Solomon said, “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.” (Pr 25:28)Our mindset must be selfless.

CHRIST IN YOU… THINKS NO EVIL -  It refuses to store up the memory of any wrong received. What a liberating truth to grasp. Be like an accountant and clear the ledger. God does not hold our sins against us and we must choose to release others (Rom 4:8).

CHRIST IN YOU… DOES NOT REJOICE IN INIQUITY – Love takes no pleasure in evil reports (Rom 1:32). The meaning of iniquity is sin against God. Love never rejoices in sin.

CHRIST IN YOU… WILL REJOICE IN THE TRUTH – In harmony with the truth and partaking of a fellowship that is based upon a love of the truth. Love celebrates when truth is revealed in the life of others.

CHRIST IN YOU… BEARS ALL THINGS – Literally to cover on all sides, to cover in silence. Love will warn, exhort, rebuke and discipline; but also cover that sin, not exposing it to create shame.

CHRIST IN YOU… WILL BELIEVE ALL THINGS -  Not suspicious, but trusting God’s plan. Love believes the best about others. Love is able to see weakness, but throws a “mantle of honor” over it and then believes the best.

CHRIST IN YOU… HOPES ALL THINGS – Even in the midst of repeated disappointments there is a constant assurance that God has a future and is working all things for His own glory.

CHRIST IN YOU… ENDURES ALL THINGS -  Bearing everything with triumphant endurance. The Greek term translated “endure” is a military term which has to do with being positioned in the middle of a violent battle.  The emphasis is not on handling little, minor annoyances. It refers to love that stands wounded and bleeding against incredible opposition and still loves.

Love never fails. Love never, even remotely falls short, because it is a resource from God. God is love and therefore, love has no end. Love cannot be conquered, because God cannot be conquered. Love is indestructible and incredible. Should we not… behold it, treasure it and live in it?

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us… that we should be (discover ourselves in being) called the Children of God.”

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