John 3:16 For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life!
Love is generous. Out of love, God gave His Son to us. Contemplate inwardly for a moment: God gave Himself to you. Breathe in the unbelievable: God loves you so much His Son died for you. When you feel you have nothing else, you have God’s Son because God loves you. When your thoughts are swimming in your head and every decision feels so complicated, you have God’s son to bring you peace. When you feel alone and too weak to press on, you have God’s son to carry you. Because of His Son’s resurrection, you have the hope of eternity in your heart. Simply and humbly receive all of the generosity of God in Jesus’s sacrificial love for you.
Photo: US Virgin Islands
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (Message)
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.
1 Corinthians 13 is the pinnacle….the highest crest…the zenith of love. Love is true. Love is steadfast. Love is loyal. Love is forgiving. Love is other-focused. Love is forever.
Christ’s unconditional love is the capstone of 1 Corinthians 13 love. In Christ, all the manifestations of true love are complete. He fulfills 1 Corinthians 13 love in us. Let us climb the highest peaks of love with Christ, so we share the grand experience with others.
Ephesians 3:18. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.
Photo: Banff National Park, Canada
We worship our God, who IS love. He is not just loving, but He is the physical and spiritual manifestation of love. For love, He gave His son to us. For love, we are His children. For love, we are to love others.
Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Because you are made holy by God’s Spirit living in you, and you are wholly loved by your Creator, wear like a garment the things that love does, for love compels us to care, asks us to listen, inspires us to give, helps us to wait, allows us to empathize with others, and motivates us to encourage others. We are cut from the same cloth of God’s love. Let us love one another.
1 John 4:9-10 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us….
God’s Son is God’s manifestation of love among us. Jesus Christ is the living, breathing, dying and rising human incarnation and divine being that embodies God’s love. If you question whether God loves you, because of past actions or present difficulties, dwell on His Son’s immense and eternal love for you. We live because of His love. He loves us first (not judges, not condemns, not remind us of our failures). He only loves. He is love. Experience the love of God for you made manifest in Jesus Christ.
Photo: Umlauf Sculpture Garden, Austin, Texas
1 Corinthians 13:2 “If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.”
It all comes down to LOVE. As much as we strive for knowledge, understanding, wisdom, power and faith… love is what defines us. Love is who we are, because love is who God is. Our ability to love is a gift from God. Our identity of love comes from God. Let us receive love, internalize love, externalize love and be love. We are created to love and be loved. Be love, beloved of God.