LOVE – What It Is and What It’s Not

Love – the word rolls off our lips so easily as we tell others ‘we love them’! But what do we really mean? Paul saw the need to help clarify this word for us, because he saw where people who supposedly ‘loved’ each other, were really running into some serious challenges. Paul’s words were not just his casual observations and impressions, but they were God-ordained, so I have no reservation in recommending that we take a close look at this, with hopes that it will guide us into truly loving our spouse and one another, as God intended.

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2022-06-14
WRITTEN AT: Jensen Beach, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
TRANSLATION: GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

BIBLE TEXT: Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up. Love never comes to an end….

APPLICATION: I will endeavor to share a comparison between the list of items taught by Paul to help us discern good habits of loving each other vs things that normally create a sense of pretense – a false pretense.
What love is: Patient; Kind; Happy about the truth; Never stops – being patient, believing in others, hoping, nor giving up on people we love; Love never ends.
What Love is not: Jealous; Sing its own praises; Arrogant; Rude; Selfish (doesn’t think of itself); Irritable; Keeping track of others’ wrongs; Being happy with injustices done to others;
One of the things that I have always found helpful in my Christian walk, is to keep a list of the negative aspects of something front and foremost as a reminder to me. Why? Because when I see any of those negative things sneaking into my life or my character, then I realize that I must seek the face of God immediately to help me overcome that bad characteristic and instead seek to do the things that God desires of me. I believe that you will recognize when either of the items in the second list is happening in your marriage or relationship, for things are not really at its best in your home. Something needs work, or correcting. I believe you will also see that homes and/or relationships are broken when one of the habits from the second list goes unnoticed or ignored by the individuals. Friends, when we surrender our life to the lordship of Jesus Christ, we commit to being obedient to His will, and we surrender our own will to the will and design of our new Master. Similarly, when we commit our lives to our spouse, we promise each other that we will set aside our selfish desires and we will love that person as ordained by God in His Word – just like our Scripture dictates today. Let’s try to remember that God’s will is for us to live and love like Jesus did, and to follow His commands as He shared through His Word. When we take things into our own hands, we screw things up. Is it any wonder why we fail in so many ways to love another creation of God? The first few words of verse 8 had a lasting impact on me – Love never ends. So many times we have heard about ‘love turning to hate’, for when we can’t have our own way in love, often we will turn to revenge, and that leads to actions that totally aggravates the other person and often leads to hatred. Friends, the example set by Jesus Christ is that: love leads to sacrifice; love will continue even if the other party rejects us; love is unconditional, meaning that one will love even if they are not loved in return, in the way they feel is necessary. Questions may sometimes arise in your mind about the love of the other person for you, but it is your responsibility to ensure that your love is persistent and everlasting. Only you can decide in your heart to love someone Jesus’ way, no matter how much others try to persuade you to do it ‘their way’.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Love never fails. It didn’t fail in the way Jesus loves us, and I will claim today to love others just as Jesus loves me, God being my helper.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for creating us to love one another the way You demonstrated true love to us. Thank You for having Your servant Paul detail in Your Word how we should love. May we examine ourselves and determine in our heart to follow Your example. Loving others in total sincerity leads to a happy and satisfied life that undoubtedly pleases You, for You created us to be just like You – including Your devotion to love us in spite of our efforts to make sure that no one loves us. Forgive us Lord when we so easily assume the characteristics of this wicked and sinful world. Your ways and Your teachings are perfect. Help us to aim for that same perfection that You intended when you placed us here in our current situation, for we want to look, sound and love just like You. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!