This week we will bring to a close our series on The Labor of Love. Keep in mind that labor means work. John said, “Let us love not in word, but in deed and in truth”. Love is not just words, but actions. True love is expressed in deeds, not just in talk. In 1Cor 13, Paul gives us many examples of what true love looks like in action. We will finish this series by looking at the remainder of these expressions of love. Let’s get into God’s Word.
God’s kind of love does not behave itself unseemly (unbecoming, unsuitable, indecent, improper for the person of Christian character). Some Scriptures that refer to this are: Rom 1:18-32, 1Cor 6:9-10, Gal 5:19-21, Eph 4:25-5:5, Col 3:5-8, 2Tim 3:1-5. While Christians are not perfect, Godly changes will take place in the true believer’s life. Repentance is not perfection, but rather a change of direction. Christian character is to imitate Christ. Jesus doesn’t lie, cheat, or steal. Jesus doesn’t cuss, gossip, or slander. Jesus doesn’t sleep around, commit adultery, or practice homosexuality. Jesus doesn’t do drugs, get drunk, abuse other people, or act hatefully. We are to imitate Jesus.
God’s kind of love does not seek her own (worship self). Whoever loses his life will find it (Mt 10:39). We are to be living sacrifices, honoring others before ourselves, and esteeming others more than ourselves (Rom 12:1-3, 10, Philp 2:3-4). Paul said, “I die daily”, and “It is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me”. Self exultation and self worship are the worlds way of living. God’s way is to be humble, and He will exalt you.
God’s kind of love is not easily provoked (easily exasperated, irritated, or stirred up to anger). Flying off the handle, fighting at the drop of a hat, blowing your top, and going off on someone are all worldly terms for being easily provoked. However, foolishness and transgression waits at the door of the easily angered (Eccl 7:9, Prv 14:17, 29, 15:18, 16:32, 29:22). God says to avoid an angry man, and make no friendship with him (Prv 22:24). We are to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger (Jam 1:19)
God’s kind of love thinks no evil (takes no inventory of wrongs). Do you keep a mental list of all who have wronged you and carry it around in your heart? You are only hurting yourself. We are to forgive and forget. That doesn’t mean be a door mat and foolishly continue to allow yourself to be abused; nor does it mean you blindly trust a wrongdoer again and again. It does mean, however, that you don’t carry around bitterness and unforgiveness in your heart. Refuse to hate and carry around animosity in your life. It is unchristian, and it hurts you more than them. In fact, they control you, and you don’t even know it. Let God be their judge. You be at peace and refuse to play that game.
God’s kind of love does not rejoice in iniquity. The Psalmist said, “Rivers of waters run down my eyes, because they keep not Your law” (Ps 119:136). Our hearts should break for the gross iniquity that is literally paraded around in our culture. People rejoice in sin and call it freedom (Ps 10:3, Prv 14:9, 30:20, Jude 18). While this causes the unregenerate to rejoice, it should cause us to be broken hearted, and to stand against it.
God’s kind of love rejoices in truth. Jesus is the Truth (Jn 1:17, 14:6). As believers, we should rejoice in Jesus Christ and His eternal Word. Spiritually ingesting God’s Word should cause us joy and gladness (Jer 15:16). Knowing others rejoice in truth should provoke us to rejoice, as well (3Jn 1:3). Truth sanctifies us! Truth makes us free! Truth is God’s Word! Truth endures!
God’s kind of love bears all things (builds a roof over, covers). We are to bear one another’s burdens (1Pt 4:8, Rom 15:1, Gal 6:2). Love covers a multitude of sins. God’s kind of love believes all things and hopes all things. This doesn’t mean you believe everything you hear, but rather it means you want to believe the best. You want to think the best. Assume the best, unless proven otherwise; instead of believing the worst about everyone and everything. Hope is an expectation of something good. Hope the best. See the glass half full, instead of half empty. God is quite the optimist, and we should be, as well (Philp 4:8).
God’s kind of love endures all things (Mt 10:22, 2Thess 1:4, 2Tim 4:5, Jam 1:12). Hang in there. Don’t quit Jesus. Endure. Persevere. Don’t give up. Keep walking with Christ no matter what. God’s love never fails. It never drops away. It is never driven out. Who can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus? (Rom 8:35-39)
I pray you have been blessed and challenged by this series, and until next time, rejoice in The Lord!