Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 20 April 19:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 — “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
These are popular verses at weddings, but this one of those verses we should probably read to ourselves every morning and then use as a nightly debrief to ourselves at the end of every day to assess how we did. To be a person who truly displays these attributes is far more impressive, miraculous, and powerful than speaking in tongues, prophesying, preaching, teaching, or anything else. Some Christians boast about their spiritual gifts or simply natural gifts, but few can boast of this sort of love. Love like this is genuine proof of a close relationship with Jesus.
Comments from Henry T. Blackaby — Love has no limits. Love never says, “You’ve gone too far. I can’t love you now.” “All things” means everything is included. Christlike love leaves no doubt in the mind of another that you will continue to love steadfastly. Do those close to you know that they can fail and do foolish things, yet you will not falter in your love for them? Are others assured that, even when they hurt you, you still love them, holding nothing against them? Love assumes the best about others. If someone inadvertently offends you, you choose to believe the offense was unintentional. If someone seeks to harm you, you “bear all things,” forgiving unconditionally. If a positive light can be shed on a difficult encounter, you grasp it. If someone continually provokes you, you “endure all things.” You never lose hope in the ones you love. You practice the same unconditional love toward others that Christ gives to you. Paul said that he was nothing if he had the faith to move mountains, the tongue of an angel, and the gift of prophecy to understand all mysteries, yet did not have God’s love. It is unacceptable to say, “Well, I just can’t love people that way!” When God loves people through you, this is the only kind of love He has! Read 1 Corinthians 13 with gratitude that God has already expressed this complete and selfless love to you. Pray and ask Him to express it through you now, to others.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 20 April 19: Make 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 love your goal today. Display these verses somewhere prominently; memorize them; recite them to yourself throughout the day; practice them; pray about them; compare your thoughts, words, and deeds to them; and evaluate your behavior.