“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, and love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” (I Corinthians 13:13, The Message)
The fact that Love is a part of God’s Plan is a wonderful thought to keep in our minds. I don’t know about you friend, but that thought keeps my heart full of praise and gives me the Will to yield to Him. Read that again and let me explain further.
Love is greater than faith and hope! “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.” (I Corinthians 13:13, The Message)
Love is the greatest subject in the Bible. It is a subject that affects all people. It is a subject that has life-changing power. Power to change your attitude. Power to change your marriage. Power to change your church. Power to change your future.
Love is The Gospel! God has always loved us - “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16, NKJ) And the Bible is God’s love letter to us all. God loved us while we were sinners - “But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NKJ) God loved us when we didn’t love Him - “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:10 NKJ) We will never be separated from God’s love - “I’m convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” (Rom. 8:38-39, The Message) My heart is full of praise to God for His Love, and the truth be told, God’s Love should always be in our hearts - “In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” (Romans 5:5, The Message)
God’s love sent Jesus to the cross (John 3:16) and hope makes us unashamed to proclaim this confidently because the love of God is in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given to us when we confess, profess, and believe. Now by faith, God’s love can flow through us to others the same way Jesus loved those who were difficult to love (That’s you and ME!) His enemies criticized Him for loving sinners (That’s you and ME!) And the question to ask now is, “How can we recognize the love of Christ in us?
The answer is found in God’s love letter to us: “So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. 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. ” (I Corinthians 13:4-8, The Message)
And because God loves us, we can love others and walk by faith, knowing that God will be there for us no matter where we may find ourselves. Consider showing Love to others as God’s Love Harvest in our lives. We all are called to love lost people. Jesus calls us to go witness to a lost world with His love. “Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20, The Message) The Apostle Paul said, “He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”” (Acts 1:7-8, The Message)
My friends, I must warn you that we should not do anything if it is not done with Love. Preaching without love is just noise. Witnessing without love is worthless. Giving without love is a bad investment. “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.” (I Corinthians 13:1, The Message) But when we move with good intentions and Love in our hearts, then our actions of love bring results! Love reaches more people than logic. Love reaches more people than tact. Love reaches more people than training. Love reaches more people than a good argument.
Here’s the golden nugget my friends: We must love God’s people as they are.
This is how Jesus loved and we know His love can make anyone what they ought to be because His love transformsYOU AND ME daily. My friends, as I conclude this week's message I want to leave you with this thought: When you don’t feel loved, consider the Cross. And remember that the cross proves God’s love for us. Be encouraged, believe you are loved, and ask the Christ of the Cross to Love others through YOU.
In His Service With Love