1) affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love
2) love feasts
I think about whether I display the characteristics of this kind of love and see where I often fall short. I'm so thankful that God does not fall short. He is working in me each day to develop this kind of love. A while back I prayed that He would open my eyes to the inner person of the people around me, letting me see them as He sees them, worthy of affection, good will, love, compassion, and friendship. Praying this prayer has changed the way I see others.
Love can be hard. In fact, I had a moment today. I was angry because someone stole something off my credenza at work while I was away from my desk for about 30 minutes. Rather than realizing they probably needed what they stole more than I did, I became angry. Oh, that old sin nature! It didn't help that I had just fallen off a table, spilling tea everywhere and knocking papers and a huge paper cutter to the floor. It didn't help that I had bumped my hand who knows how and had a knot on it, or that I was just weary to begin with. It was the icing on the cake.
"We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves." ~ Romans 15:1 (ESV)
I have since forgiven whoever did it but will be locking my door every time I leave my office, even when I just have to go to the restroom. I didn't report the theft because it was minor, and like I said, someone needed it more than I did. I did warn everyone to be on guard, just as an alert, not in a gossippy way. We have inmates for housekeepers and I'm sure that temptation can present itself in many forms while they are there. What the person took from my office is absolutely nothing one of my co-workers would have taken, and the housekeepers were on the floor while I was away from my desk. I'm trying to show love by not reporting it and getting them in trouble for something so minor. Although I won't lodge a formal complaint, I will speak with their supervisor about it and let them know, though, that this is the second time something has come up missing and the timing just speaks for itself. However she chooses to deal with it will be up to her.
I'm so thankful this week for the love I have begun to develop for others. For the last several months this has really been at work in me. It's a good feeling to try to give people the benefit of the doubt and to show compassion other traits of love. While I didn't show love when I became angry, I tried to show it in not resenting them and hoping that they were blessed by what they took from me. God taught me today that I need to work harder at letting the traits mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 be my first response rather than wrong actions. It's not wrong to be angry, but I was truly resentful at first and not immediately forgiving or giving the benefit of the doubt.
Love is a Decision
We have to decide every day, sometimes several times a day, to walk in love. It's a commandment given by Jesus.
"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." ~ Mark 12:30-31 (ESV)
1) of persons
a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
2) of things
a) to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing
We can love others by being welcoming to them, showing hospitality and offering our servant hearts to them, speaking to and about them affectionately and just plain old loving them. We can love things, the blessings God has given us, by being content and at peace with them.
Relationships require love on some level. From loving our spouses, children, family and friends to even the people we interact with on a limited basis, love must be shown. I'm so thankful for the love of my family and friends.
The Greatest Example of Love
"but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." ~ Romans 5:8 (ESV)
This is the greatest expression of love there is - Christ died for us, incurring the wrath of God in our stead, paying the penalty for our sins. He didn't have to do this. By His grace, a gift of unmerited favor, He willingly chose to die for us so that we could have eternal life.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." ~ John 3:16 (ESV)
What should our response be to this? First of all, to accept Him as our Savior. If we have done this, we need to share Him with others. Whether you do it via email, in person, a handwritten letter, a phone call, etc., tell others of His love!
I praise Him for dying for me. I pray that I extend an open invitation to others to come to know and love Him as I do.
Walking in Love
"May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ." ~ 2 Thessalonians 3:5 (ESV)
a) of the removal of the hindrances to coming to one
a) in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings
b) patiently, and steadfastly
2) a patient, steadfast waiting for
3) a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance
Father, help me be a walking example of Your love. Thank You for loving me in the many ways you do. Help me to show it to others, bringing all glory and honor to You. In Jesus' Name...Amen.
Iris has chosen a great theme this week, as usual. I'm so glad she hosts Thankful Thursday each week. Be sure to visit her by clicking on the button below and link up, leaving a Thankful Thursday post of your own.