Friday, March 7, 2014

Lent- Day 3- Love Is...


Almost every person in America knows the Bible's definition of love found in 1 Corinthians 13. It is quoted at nearly every wedding by believers and non-believers alike. In fact, Bible Gateway did a study to see what verses were searched the most in the top 10 countries and 1 Corinthians 13 was #4 in China, #2 in USA, #3 in Brazil, #5 in Bangladesh, #3 in Indonesia, #5 in Japan, and #1 in Russia (these stats here). In 2009, 1 Corinthians 13 was the most- viewed passage on (this stat here). In 2012 it was number 8 on that list (look here). By the end of the year last year, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 was number 7 on the charts worldwide. 

As believers we have a really beautiful example of love to follow. In fact, we have the Man named Love, Himself. The Man, Love, fully lived out 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. How can we follow His example? I guess we can look at the definition of love and the Man's life side by side.

Love is:
Matthew 15:32-34- Even after Jesus fed 5,000 people His disciples still didn't understand that He could do it again with 4,000 people. They were doubtful and confused. Jesus was so patient with them countless times. This is just one time of many. 

John 5:2-9 Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath who had been sick a long time and had no one to bring him to the pool of healing. He has compassion on people.

Does not envy or boast
Philippians 2:6-9 He does not consider equality with God as something to be grasped. 

Not arrogant - Humble
John 4:7- Jesus asked a samaritan woman for water- This was unheard of in that day because Jewish men did not speak to women, and especially not samaritan women. But Jesus stepped down in humility and offered this woman life abundantly. 

Not rude
Matthew 12:19-21- even when He faced the greatest abuse man has every endured, He did so with gentleness and humility.
Does not insist it's own way
Matthew 26:39,42 in the hours before His crucifixion he chose to pray this prayer: "Not my will, but your will be done, Father."

Not irritable
Matthew 20:20-28- Jesus has every right to be irritated at this request, but he chose love instead. He lovingly spoke the truth. 

Not resentful
Luke 23:34- Jesus cried out on the cross, Father forgive the ones who have crucified me, they don't know what they are doing. Beautiful Mercy, Love chose forgiveness, not resentment. 

Does not rejoice at wrong doing but rejoices with the truth
Matthew 18:23-34- Jesus told this parable about forgiveness and truth.
Bears all things
Matthew 16:5-12- Again, Jesus was incredibly patient with his disciples through their immaturity and unbelief. 

Believes all things
Mark 9:23 All things are possible for on who believes. Jesus was able to do crazy ridiculous miracles because He believed. We have that same ability if we believe as He did. 

Hopes all things
Matthew 26:29- Jesus took the bread and the cup for the last time with His disciples on earth. He did so while holding on to hope that He would take it once again with them in Heaven. He held on to hope that His blood was enough and grace was enough to carry them to eternity. 

Endures all things
Luke 23- Jesus endured the worst possible betrayal, abuse and death imaginable because we were the joy set before him. Because of us, He endured the cross. He is the most beautiful example of endurance. 

Jesus is the most beautiful picture of love. 1 John 3:16 says: "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, so we ought to lay down our lives for our friends." Is this definition of love considered when those three little words slip off your lips and into the ear of your most recent crush? Jesus, the Man who is equal with God humbled himself and became a mere human only to die a brutal death to show us His great love.

The words that echo in my heart from the lips of Jesus- 

It. Was. Worth. It.

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