A Lifestyle of Love
"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. . .But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13:1-10,13 NASB
Whenever I read these verses I am reminded of the depth of meaning that true, godly love entails. What exactly is love? First Corinthians 13 tells what it is and what it is not. Love is patient. Love is kind. It is never jealous, boastful, or arrogant. Love never acts unbecomingly. It never seeks its own desires. Love is never provoked, and it never keeps a record of the wrong things done by someone else. Love wants nothing but the truth. It can withstand all things that come against it. It believes the best at all times, and it endures or bears up under anything that comes its way. Love never fails!
I encourage you to go through the list on a daily basis and ask yourself if you are fulfilling each of the love requirements. Am I being patient? Am I being easily provoked? Am I keeping a checklist of the wrong things that people have done to me? You see, love should not only be evident in one small aspect of our lives. Love should encompass every part of our being! It should affect how we treat people, how we react to situations, how we forgive those who may have hurt us. We need to let the love of God overtake us in every way!
Love is so much more than just a word, feeling, or emotion. It is an action. It is a choice. Love is a lifestyle! Every morning when you wake up, you have a decision to make. Will you walk in love or will you walk in hatred? We live a world full of evil and the works of the devil, and it can be difficult to practice love when there are constantly people and things in our lives that test our love walk. Matthew 24:12-13 says, "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved." We have to make sure in these last days that we do not allow anybody or anything to cause our love to grow cold. Practice 1 Corinthians 13. Let those verses rule in your daily life. When you do those things, the God of love will be able to do a work within you as you choose to focus on what true love really is! Remember 1 John 4:16, "We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in Him."