A devotional by Jessica Cross
Let’s talk about love.
Throughout the entire Bible, God tells us about love. There are so many different attributes to love. One main chapter in the Bible that many people go to is 1 Corinthians 13. This is called the love chapter and only focuses on love.
Now I’m not talking about mushy stuff like how to love a girlfriend or boyfriend or even husband and wife. I am going to talk about the attributes of love, and how to love other people. Loving other people can be a really difficult thing to do. Even I struggle with it.
In fact, I don’t think I know a person who doesn’t struggle with this. It can be difficult to want to love others with the love that Christ has shown us. We need to love others. We are called to love others.
I want you to turn to 1 Corinthians 13. I really like this whole chapter. Go ahead, read it for yourself, but I’m going to highlight only a few verses (okay, more like half the chapter). The first verse of chapter 13 hits kind of hard, “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.”
I can remember reading this for the first time and being like, “Okay, what does that mean.” And here’s what I think it means (note: what I think, my interpretation: not what the Bible says.), I think that it means, without love we have become loud, useless noise. And that’s definitely not something that we want to be, and God doesn’t want that either.
Let’s move on to the attributes of love. Verses 4-8a talk about the attributes of what love is supposed to look like.
- Not Jealous
- Not Brag
- Not Arrogant
- Not Acting Unbecoming
- Not Seeking Its Own
- Not Provoked
- Not Take Account Of A Wrong Suffered
- Not Rejoice In Unrighteousness
- Rejoices With The Truth
- Bears All Things
- Believes All Things
- Hopes All Things
- Endures All Things
Lastly, LOVE NEVER FAILS
Now I don’t want you to look at this list as a to do list. That’s not the point. The point is, love consists of all these things. As believers, we are called to love others. This should be us, people should be able to define us as things like this. If we have love, the kind of love that Christ has given to us, we should love like this. Now, it will not be easy to love people, trust me. You have to continually remind yourself to love others like Christ did/does.
The last verse in the chapter says this, “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
That verse says a lot, my friends. The greatest thing is love..
Turn to 1 John 4:18-19 and read it. (I’ll focus on these two, but also read 11-21 as well.)
v.18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” v. 19 “We love, because He first loved us.”
WOW. These verses talk about no fear and why we love. We love others because God loved us first. He even showed us how to love others. In John 3:16, John 15:13, and Romans 5:8, God demonstrates how He loved us and how we are supposed to love others. Look them up and read them.
Now that we know why we love, who we are supposed to love and what love looks like, let’s look at a couple verses that show us a different aspect of love. Look these up.
Leviticus 19:18, “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.” Here, God is telling us that we are not to be mean to others. We are not to hold anything against other people. But we are to love them. Personally, this is really difficult to do. It’s not an easy thing to do. When someone wrongs us, we tend to be angry at them and hold it against them. We aren’t supposed to do that, we are to love.
Proverbs 10:12,”Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions.” Hating people can cause a lot of problems and serious damage. But love covers all sin. When I hear this verse I immediately think of what Christ did for us on the cross. He laid down his life to cover our sins. That’s how much He loved us. We should be willing to do the same.
Romans 8:39, “nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Nothing can separate us from the love of God. I love to hear this, and I love reading this. Knowing that whatever happens, we are never too far from the love of God.
1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world nor the things of the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” This verse goes hand in hand with the one in Romans that tells us not to conform to the patterns of the world. We aren’t to love the things of the world and we are not supposed to be like it either. The love of God is not in people who don’t love Him.
I encourage you to keep loving others, even though it is extremely difficult at times. Turn to scripture when you are struggling to love others. Without God we cannot love. He has given us many examples on how to love and tells us that we are to love everyone. I pray that you would turn to God when you are struggling. And I pray that you keep loving. I pray that you are continually resting in God and walking with Him.