Respect dare series – day 19 – Love

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Sure! These are some powerful verses! In short: anything that is not motivated by love is meaningless. Paul then goes on from verse 4 to describe what love is:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

This is our challenge. This is how we are to live. We are called to love purely and to love as Christ loved, even to the laying down of our lives for another. How many of us can truthfully say we’ve laid our lives down for our spouse? Who can say that they are patient in all circumstances? Who has shown kindness this whole year? Who has not been arrogant? . . . And of course I could keep questioning in this vein.

My action for today: Motive check. I know that my actions are not always motivated by love. I know all too well that my life has not been laid down to God’s purposes as He would have me do. I want to evaluate my motives the next few days. It will be my prayer that God leads me along the path of love.

My prayer for today: Lord, I know that this is a change that only you can bring about in me. I want to consciously chose the path of love, but I also know that a deeper work must be done in my heart for it to begin to be a defining feature in my life. Transform me to be like John the Beloved who caught a firm hold of your command to love. Let our marriage be known for its internal love, and also the love that we give to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

*Malachi looks to the heart


*Image by Lucky Gumbo, curtsey of The Inductive Bible Study Companion; Unlock the Word ©2015

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