“Do you know what love is?”
devotional by Marissa Mathews
I just finished watching a Disney movie that reminded me painfully of how lost the world is. They’ve replaced serving God with “follow your heart,” and culture has seen, internalized, and vomited up an outcome that breaks my heart.
Lemme tell you something about love.
Love is patient. It waits for God’s timing. Do you?
Love is kind. It cares for its beloved. Do you?
Love does not envy or boast. It is content with itself and with its beloved. Are you?
Love is not proud. It humiliates itself for the sake of its beloved. Do you?
Love is not rude. It only acts to encourage its beloved. Do you?
Love is not self-seeking. It is self-sacrificing. Are you?
Love is not easily angered. It is quick to listen to all sides. Are you?
Love keeps no record of wrongs. It forgives immediately. Do you?
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. Do you?
Love always protects its beloved, in heart, soul, and mind. Do you?
Love always trusts that God is good, regardless of what circumstances say. Do you?
Love always hopes the best for its beloved. Do you?
Love always perseveres for its beloved when it gets hard. Do you?
Love never fails. But where there are feelings, they will fall short. Where there are impulses, they will disappoint. Where there are chemicals driving your brain nuts, they will fade away.
Love is a decision that may or may not have started with a warm and fuzzy feeling, and may or may not bring more of that kind along. But listen here: love ALWAYS protects the soul of its beloved. Love ALWAYS trusts that God is good. Love ALWAYS hopes the best for its beloved. Love ALWAYS perseveres, despite its beloved. Culture tells you that your heart is the god you should be serving, but God says, “NO!” Love is much more sacred than pheromones telling your brain that someone smells good. Love is a commitment to the well-being of one’s beloved, be that a future spouse, a best friend, a stranger, or even an enemy.
You think you know what love is? Let me tell you something else about love: love is not God, but God is love. Do you know that it’s impossible to love someone on your own power? It will work for a time, but you’ll burn out. But as Christians, we love because God first loved us. We love our enemies because we were once enemies with God. Do you know that if you’re not actively and consciously with Christ, you’re actively against Him? And He loves you anyway! So much, in fact, that He gave up His life to torture and death so that you and I could spend eternity with God. Do you know something else? Jesus is so powerful that the grave could not hold Him. He broke out of that tomb victoriously, so that you and I, friend, could come to God.