Daily Devotion for June 29, 2017

'Love is Tough to Do!'

1 Corinthians 13:1-8a, 14:1a, 16:14 NAS
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. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails;

PURSUE love...

Let ALL that you do be done in love.

I remember the first time I heard a sermon on these verses. As a teenager, I was so relieved to discover God's definition of “love” had nothing to do with how I felt! Matter of fact, I thought it was pretty cool I could “do” love to others while disliking them! Back then this was a great relief, since I really didn't feel a heck of a lot of love for my fellow man...

Fast forward to today, and while I'm still relieved God's definition of love isn't a feeling, I'm also painfully aware that loving others—God's way—is probably the HARDEST thing I've ever been commanded to do (“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you John 15:12)! Folks, loving God's way is something I don't do naturally; it's something I have to KEEP PRACTICING! It's something I have to “PURSUE!” I'm supposed to live letting “ALL that” I “do be done in LOVE! That means I have to constantly work on...

always reflecting God's loving patience and endurance with those I interact with—no exceptions,

always reflecting Christ's kindness in the way I speak, with the words I say, with the things I do

always living without jealousy, without coveting, 

always speaking (and thinking!) without bragging or boasting,

always living without arrogance or pride, but in humility

always speaking and doing in a Christ-like becoming manner,

always seeking the good of others—as Christ did (and does) for me, 

always being hard to provoke (which means I know what aggravates, and I have a plan to handle it),

never taking into account a wrong suffered—never keep a list of wrongs done,

never rejoicing in unrighteousness,

always rejoicing in the truth, 

always bearing, believing, hoping, enduring...

I need to constantly work on loving like Jesus because His love “never fails;” without love, “I am nothing”....

Heavenly Father, loving as Your Son has commanded us is pretty tough. We can't do it on our own (if left to ourselves, we won't even try!)! But we Believers have Your Spirit and Word to change us and give us right desires, so we ask Your enabling to LOVE as Your Son loves us. Help us increasingly practice love and “pursue love,” so we more and more “Let ALL that (we) do be done in love.” We ask this in Your Son's name, so our love points others to You...

AMEN!!!

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