by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, NIV)
This week we are exploring what it means to love neighbor as we love self. The primary concept we’ve covered this week is living in such a way where our words, beliefs, and actions are congruent with God’s character and purpose, which can be summed up in one word: love. God’s very existence is love; in fact, 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love. And when you consider that God told Moses that his name is, I AM that I AM (Exodus 3:14), if you consider the two of these identifying statements together, it is reasonable to understand God saying, “I AM Love.” Powerful, isn’t it?
Our passage for today gives some profound descriptions as to what it means to love: patience, kindness, graciousness, humility, honor, thoughtfulness, peacefulness, forgiving, truthfulfulness, protecting, trustworthiness, hopefulness, and never failing in perseverace. Since God’s is love, God is all of that. And then some. Imagine hearing God say, “I AM patient, kind, gracious, humble, honorable, thoughtful, peaceful, forgiving, truthful, protecting, trustworthy, hopeful, and perseverant to the point of never failing.
Do you know what? God wants these words to be descriptive of you, your motivations, as well as your words, beliefs, and actions. So how would you do if you put your name in that list and asked: Am I patient? Am I kind? Do I envy? Do I boast? Am I proud? Do I dishonor others? Am I self seeking? Am I easily angered? Do I keep a record of wrongs? Do I delight in evil? Do I rejoice in the truth? Do I always protect, trust, hope, persevere? I think it would do you well to know that God…I AM…is all those things in love; and then ask, Am I?
Prayer: Dear Lord, I know that you are love. As I consider all that means, I recognize the call and challenge it means for me to live a life of love. Help me by the power of your Spirit to embody love and share your purpose with everyone. I ask this in Jesus’ holy and loving name. Amen.