Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.~1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV
There was a security in Papa’s love. I do not specifically remember him telling me, but I knew.
I squirmed, as I sat on the wagon seat next to my grandfather. We were headed to the mill with a wagon load of corn to be ground into cornmeal. I was wearing my Sunday best on this hot summer afternoon, and my black patent leather shoes and lacy dress made me feel all stiff and uncomfortable. I did not see any reason to shed my everyday shorts and shirt for Sunday clothes, even if Papa did want to show me off.
On days we were at the farm, I followed Papa everywhere. Mother even let me take a jar of ice water to him as he worked in the field. Papa was grateful, especially on hot days, and he loved me bringing it to him. Papa was glad to see me. I could tell by his smile.
Although I was seven years old when he passed away, I remember him well. He was my first best friend. I was blessed to experience my grandfather’s love and care, as well as the love of my parents. They showed us what love looks like. God’s love was lived out in our home, as well as in our little Methodist church. We learned first-hand about the powerful and wonderful love God has for us and about His kindness.
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.~Ephesians 4:32 NASB
We are called by God to forgive those who have hurt us. Sometimes it is not easy, but it is necessary. God forgives us and even sent His Son to die in our place. Remembering the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross encourages us to forgive others. When we refuse to forgive, it hinders our relationship with God.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.~1 John 4:7-8 NIV
Here are nuggets of truth on living in the love of God:
- We experience God’s love by accepting His free gift of salvation, as well as the gifts of forgiveness and mercy. This frees us to share His love with others.
- “Love is a verb.” Most of us are familiar with that statement; it has become a cliché. Even so, it is true. Jesus expects us to put love into action; it often entails physical sacrifice on our part.
- Matthew 22:37-39 NIV is clear that love for God and for others is not an option. Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
- As believers and followers of Jesus, we owe it to Him and to others to be obedient and to live out the above Scripture. By living out these two commandments, our lives are sure to be enriched.
- First Corinthians 13 is often referred to as the Love Chapter. It is good to make a habit of reading this Scripture often and striving to live by its principles.
- We work so hard to gain material possessions and to achieve great success. However, only love will last forever; these other things are temporal and will pass away.
- We are to put away our selfish nature and to leave our immaturity behind, as we grow in our relationship with God. As we grow closer to God, we gain the ability to live out our love to others.
- Since God is love, we are to live in a way where we show His love to others. As followers of Jesus, we have the opportunity to bless others by modeling His love to them.
- Sometimes loving others is difficult; it is easier to put ourselves first. Instead, we are to put others before ourselves. This is love in action.
- It is easier to love those who look like us, share our faith, or live in our neighborhoods. If we truly love God, we will make it a priority to share His love with everyone, regardless of their circumstances.
We find it easier to love those who love us than we do those who don’t. But what if love demands a sacrifice? Are we willing to get out of our comfort zone to go the extra mile? Are we willing to determine to love others no matter what their circumstances are?
Jesus went the extra mile because He loves us with an everlasting love, He laid down His life for us by dying on the cross to pay the price for our sins. He sacrificed His all, so those who love Him and have accepted His free gift of salvation can dwell with Him in eternity.
Have you ever accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord? I invite you to do so today.
Share ways you can show others sacrificial love.
Father God, draw me to You, reveal Your great love, and guide me to repentance and salvation.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright 2020: The Fruit of Love: Evelyn Wells: All Rights Reserved