This past Sunday morning during our teaching time, we continued the “Summer Love” series and focused on 1st Corinthians 13:7. It says:
7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. [NLT]
7 Puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. [MSG]
As we unpacked this very powerful verse, we looked at 2 implications. The 1st – LOVE IS DIFFICULT. One of the major themes of Jesus’ teachings can be summed up with the word “OVERCOME.” Those who follow Jesus must “walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel” and not jump ship at the 1st sign of trouble, or the 2nd sign of trouble, or the 102nd sign of trouble. Love shows up best when the circumstances are the worst and sustains us through as the Spirit compels us from within.
The 2nd implication we examined – LOVE IS NOT SAFE. It is a lie of church culture that “the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.” Ask Stephen. Nearly every time Jesus spoke of “love,” He spoke of death or dying. Why then, when we speak of love, do we most often refer to a feeling or personal pleasure or a circumstance that makes us happy?
The story is told of James Calvert as follows:
When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying: “You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages.”
Calvert replied, “We died before we came here.”
When you tell someone you love them, you are literally telling them, “I would take a bullet for you.” And why would we be willing to love like this? Because our hope is not in staying alive, but in the fact that we have been made fully alive, now and forever, and are willing to endure life in this skin for a King who will raise us from the dead.
Here’s THE BOTTOM LINE:
The love of Jesus changes everything. With His love alive in us, we can hold up under any weight, trust through any circumstance, stay hopeful even in the midst of darkness, and keep on giving love even when giving up sounds easier. When those who follow Jesus love like this, the world notices the One who was sent to declare God’s love for us all. Lord, help us to love like You.
Tune back in Thursday to watch an amazing music video of quite possibly my favorite singer/songwriter, Andrew Peterson, as he sings about not giving up on love.