February 22, 2021
Poured out His Love
Last week we looked at St. Valentine and the history behind the holy day. Millions of people gave cards, roses, candy, and gifts to someone they love. Yet, how many of those people could accurately define what love is? Or love that person this time next year? Love is far more than an emotion or feeling: it is rooted in the practical, is action oriented, and never stops. The classic description of love is found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians and is read at many weddings in America.
NIV 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
This is a high standard of course, but you don’t have to read the passage just this way. I substitute my own name for the word “love” to get a more complete picture of what Paul is trying to communicate to the Corinthians. Now it reads:
4 Jon is patient, Jon is kind. Jon does not envy, Jon does not boast, Jon is not proud. 5 Jon is not rude, Jon is not self-seeking, Jon is not easily angered, Jon keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Jon does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 Jon always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Jon never fails.
Since anyone who knows me, knows how far I live below this standard, I apologize to each and every one of you. But, this does not mean that I give up. I have been given the capability to love when I became a new creation in Christ.
NIV Romans 5:5 God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.
When I am living a life of love is when I am most like Christ…
NIV Ephesians 5:2 Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us.
Yet I fall very, very short. However, I want to take a couple of these descriptions, with the Holy Spirit helping me, and try to make some improvements before the next Valentine’s Day. It is God’s desire to increase all of our capacities to love, because then we are representing Him more accurately.
NIV 1 Thessalonians 3:12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.
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