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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Following Jesus Means I Love Everyone

In review of 1 Corinthians 13:7 it says, “Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up” (GW).

Today’s passage is 1 Corinthians 13:7. In it I’m reminded that love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Unfortunately our culture confuses love and lust. Unlike lust, God's kind of love is directed toward others, not inward toward ourselves. It is utterly unselfish. This kind of love goes against our natural inclinations. It is impossible to have this love unless God helps me set aside my own natural desires so that I can love and not expect anything in return. Thus, the more I become like Christ, the more love I will show to others.

What I’m reminded of this morning is that the same love that God gives to me, I am to offer to anyone that you come in contact with. It’s not an option or a suggestion. It’s a command: “Now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other” (John 13:34 NLT).

As a follower of Christ, I must love everybody, whether I like them or not, in the same way that Christ loves me. That means I am to accept them completely, love them unconditionally, forgive them totally, and consider them extremely valuable. Loving others in this way will transform my relationships!

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:7, “Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up” (GW).

This is how God loves me. God never stops being patient, believing in, hoping for my best and never gives up on me. That’s what God expects me to do with everybody else.

“Love never stops being patient” means love extends grace. I can offer grace to others.

“Love never stops believing” means it expresses faith. I tell someone, “Even though we’re having a tough time, I will never stop believing in you.”

“Love never stops hoping” means love expects the best. Am I expecting the best in my marriage, or have I settled for less than the best?

“Love never gives up” means love endures the worst. It means I can look at the other person and say, “You can throw everything at me, but I’m going to keep loving you, no matter what.”

To start transforming relationships today, I pray, “Dear God, I admit that I have made a mess in my relationships. They’re complicated and broken, and I’ve often settled for less than the best. They need a transformation! I want you to begin by changing me. Deliver me from my fears, because I can see how they make me distant and defensive and even demanding. Today and every day from now on, I want to surrender my heart to you. I want to learn to live my life in your love and be filled with your love. Also, Help me to accept others, just as you’ve accepted me. Help me to love others unconditionally, just as you have loved me. Help me to forgive others totally, just as you’ve forgiven me. And help me to value others as much as you value me. Help me to extend grace to and express faith in the people around me. Help me to expect the best in others, and when the worst happens, help me to endure it. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Bottom Line:
Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.

What this means to me:
Showing and practicing true love on my part means I never stop being patient, never stop believing, never stop hoping, and never ever give up.

In summary, God's faithful love for me will always remain. His covenant of blessing will never be broken. If I'm not feeling loved, I'll have a hard time offering love to others. I need to remind myself every day what God truly things of me. First I need to keep in mind that I'm completely accepted because Jesus made me acceptable. Secondly I'm unconditionally loved. He says that he loves me period. His love is not based on what I do, but on who he is. Thirdly I'm totally forgive, because Jesus died on the cross and give his life as a payment for my sins. Lastly I'm considered extremely valuable because of who he is and what he was willing to pay for me. He paid for me by Christ. That how valuable I am. When I remember that I'm accepted, loved, forgiven and valuable to my creator, then I'll be better equipped to show that love to others. The same love that God gives me is what I am to offer to anyone that I come in contact with. For true love extends grace, expresses faith, expects the best and endures the worst. I also pray this morning Father for your wisdom and guidance as I do my job, lead and respond to others. In your Son Jesus name I pray, amen!