This journey of understanding God’s love began 3 years ago.
Since that time I have had many opportunities to put all I’ve learned to the test.
There have been times I’ve had to choose to bear all things, believe all things, endure all things and hope all things despite what I could see at the present moment.
This is important, because what we see is a blimp on God’s screen – He sees the whole picture. We have to remember that despite what we see now – or even how it factors into the past – that there is still a greater plan at work.
10, 20 or 30 years down the road will likely – hopefully – prove that God had a much bigger purpose than what we could see at that moment; and the choice to love as God loves releases us to walk that path of faith…
…when bitterness would enslave us to that one moment of pain or frustration.
This choice is not an easy one. It runs counter to our flesh – when what we really want to do is nurse our hurt and think up ways to “get back”, hide or reject the person who hurt us.
But it’s not enough to have faith that God will work out the details, and hope the best for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Especially when they’ve fallen, chosen a path we don’t agree with, or hurt us.
While faith and hope are good – even essential to the body – they don’t go far enough. There is a greater act that is demanded of us.
While this sounds nice and good, when it comes down to brass tacks, it is much harder to do.
When a brother or sister in Christ has fallen or they make a choice that we feel isn’t biblical or right; when they’ve done something to hurt us, or the body as a whole…
…our first reaction isn’t to be patient or kind. Our first reaction is to be provoked to anger and do many of the things that Paul said love isn’t!
It takes a great amount of discipline and divine grace to reject the urge to be puffed up and arrogant, to behave rudely or think evil thoughts about them.
Love requires us to die to self. But more than that, love requires action. It isn’t passive, it can’t just hide in a corner, while in our hearts holding out faith and hope. Love requires us to prove that faith and hope.
Love is the “works” counterpart to faith that James talked about.
John reminded us of this over and over in the book 1 John. God is love. It is His character – the very essence of His being. And this is what makes Him so far above what we can fathom, because while God is holy, righteous and just – He is also love. His character is the perfect balance of principle and grace. Holiness and love. Righteousness and love. Justice and love. – 14 Days of Agape
This is why love is essential. This is why Paul says that the greatest of these is love.
The Bible doesn’t say, “God is faith” or “God is hope”. It says “God is love”.
If we want to be like Him, if we truly want to grow in our Christian walk, we must learn to love as He loves. Because love is the very essence of who He is. It is the motivation for all He does.
And that motivation must grow in our lives if we want to be like Him – Christians.
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