Thursday, August 22nd
Read: 1 Corinthians 13
Remember: “His love will bring you back to life. Jesus set you free to receive His love, and you are free to love others with the same ferocity.”
Today's Bible reading is known by most all of us as the infamous "love chapter". I have to be honest, sometimes I read 1 Corinthians 13 and get a little discouraged about "measuring up" to all its qualifications, (sorta like when I read about the Proverbs 31 woman!). Who can love with complete "patience and kindness", and who can "bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things?" I think we both know, we cannot live a life of this kind of love without a Helper! Encouragement enters in when I remember that this passage first describes the Author of Love. This perfect one, Jesus, embodied all its descriptives when He walked the earth. Imagine that for a minute...a perfect life of love...wow. Remember, He IS love! This truth seems obvious but: we cannot love like Christ, without Christ. When Jesus died and rose again, He entered heaven BUT the good news is, He left His Spirit with us. "The LOVE of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (Romans 5:5). God's Spirit living within us is our driving force of love. The extraordinary thing is this: when we submit to His power within us, love then can multiply outside of us. For example, when I make the conscience effort to give my husband encouraging words in the morning before he sets out for a day's work, the words I gave him can potentially affect him enough that it then spills over into the people that he comes in contact with the rest of the day. Also, if I speak God's secure love into the hearts of my adult kids through a call or through texts, then the four of them have the opportunity to go in their four different directions, pouring His love into those in their particular worlds. The Lord longs for each of us to die to our flesh, and live to Him so that we can be involved in this Spirit-fueled multiplying activity. God Himself says, there's nothing greater than LOVE. I want to be a part, don't you?
Take time to reread 1 Corinthians 13 with only Jesus in mind. Meditate on how He loves you in all these amazing ways. Praise Him and thank Him for His great love that never fails. Then, ask Him to fill you with His extraordinary power to love someone today. Be willing to lay your flesh down, and come alive to His perfect love that lives in you through His Spirit. Write the person's name down in your journal and say a prayer over him or her, and then proceed in the direction the Spirit leads you.
Dear Lord God,
Your love for us is indescribable. Honestly, it baffles me that You left Your Kingly throne and emptied yourself, choosing to wear bond-servant's clothes, for this purpose: to deal with sin and to chase after us! Your love purchased us; Your love pardoned us; Your love FILLED us! O God, awaken this perfect love that exists inside each one of us. May our flesh not quench your Spirit. We want to spread Your love far and wide to friends, to family, to the lost, to the lonely, and to the broken. Ignite us as Soul Sisters, living and loving in all our different places. Push us forward for the sake of those who need Your touch and for the promoting of Your great name. And it is in this Name we pray, Amen.