Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of November 11, 2007

1Coringhians 13:4-7 (NKJV)
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love in the sense of charity is what makes the world and the people in it attractive. Hate is what makes the world a dangerous place. Love is what we are supposed to have for God. However, we find that we wouldn’t love Him if He hadn’t first loved us (1John 4:19). This kind of love is not feeling so much as doing. It is not emotion so much as devotion. But true love will lead to the right feelings and emotions. Love is what God is. It is not just what He does, it is what He is (1 John 4:8). And God says that without love, we are completely worthless. Profitless. A big zero.

Our passage in 1 Corinthians 13 is part of Paul’s essay on love. The part we have quoted defines love and has fifteen characteristics. Love:
1.Suffers long-that is, love is patient.
2.Is kind-that is, love considers the feelings of others.
3.Does not envy-that is, love is satisfied.
4.Does not parade itself-love does not brag.
5.Is not puffed up-love does not fill us with pride.
6.Is not rude-love recognizes that how we say what we say is important.
7.Is not self-centered-love puts the interest of others first.
8.Is not provoked-Love is not quick to get angry.
9.Thinks no evil-Love does not have a depraved mind and does not keep a list of wrongs.
10.Does not rejoice in iniquity-Love is not happy when sin and sinners win and is grieved by sin.
11.Rejoices in the Truth-Love is glad when the truth prevails
12.Bears all things-Love endures circumstances without complaining.
13.Believes all things-Love does not automatically assume that everyone is lying. This does not mean that we always believe people who we know have a reason to lie.
14.Hopes all things-Love has a positive attitude. Love expects things to work out.
15.Endures all things-Love perseveres under trial.

Most of us would recognize that we don’t live up to these standards. I know that I am not very patient, that sometimes I envy others, sometimes I am proud even though normally I am proud of the fact that I am not proud. I don’t always put others first and I certainly don’t always expect things to work out. My motto is “If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong!”

But there is someone like this. His name is Jesus. I call Him Lord. I know that when you study the old testament, there are times when God does not seem very loving. However, if you believe, as I do, that God is seen in Christ, then we who have trusted in Christ worship the God of love who does not hate. Christ proved His love by taking the punishment that our sins deserved on Himself. In the old testament we see a lot of God’s justice and judgment mixed with His grace. In the new testament we see a lot of His grace with a reminder that if we reject that grace, we are going to experience God’s judgment and justice.

A lot of things are wrong in this world. We need to be reminded that sin is the cause of those wrongs. Satan is the source of sin, and he hates and murders. Because God is love, He has been long suffering with those who serve sin instead of righteousness (See Romans 6). Love has to eradicate sin so at some point Satan will be doomed as will those who follow him. I am looking forward to the sinless society of heaven where Christ and love reign. Satan and hate will no longer be able to control us there. That will be a great place!

Bruce Collins

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>