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THE LOVE CHAPTER CONTINUES

Yesterday I wrote about Rick Renner's "Sparkling Gems" on 1 Corinthians 13.

1 John 4:8 teaches us that God is love.

That means He is the very personification of everything love is.

As I was thinking about God being love and the expanded interpretation of the different phrases Rick taught in his letter, I had the follow thoughts:

"Love patiently and passionately bears with others for as long as patience is needed" - God is so patient with us. He doesn't give up on us. He keeps loving us, reaching out to us, teaching us and guiding us even when it takes us a very long time to come to Him or to finally listen to what He has been saying to us all along. He is patient for as long as patience is needed. 

"Love doesn't demand others to be like itself; rather, it is so focused on the needs of others that it bends over backwards to become what others need it to be" - God doesn't demand that we be like Him before loving us. In fact, He is so focused on our needs He sent His Son to die on the cross in our place so we can be saved. Jesus literally became all we needed Him to be. Now we can be in relationship with God and when we keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus, the Holy Spirit changes us into His image. 

"Love is not ambitious, self-centred, or so consumed with itself that it never thinks of the needs or desires that others possess" - We need to thank the Lord that He is not self-centred, but that He thinks and cares about our needs and desires. Can you imagine where we would have been if God was only focused on Himself? We would certainly not have been saved, for He would not have sent Jesus as our Saviour.

"Love doesn't go around talking about itself all the time, constantly exaggerating and embellishing the facts to make it look more important in the sight of others" - God doesn't have to exaggerate and embellish facts to make Himself look important, for He is the most important Person there is. And He can do things we can't even imagine. We just have to keep our eyes open and we will see His greatness and we will be the ones talking about Him all the time!

"Love does not behave in a prideful, arrogant, haughty, superior, snooty, snobbish, or clannish manner"
- I guess if there is one person who has the right to be full of pride and arrogant, it must be God. I mean, He is the Creator of all things and He is the most powerful Person there is. But He is certainly not full of pride or arrogant.

"Love is not rude and discourteous" - it is not careless or thoughtless, nor does it carry on in a fashion that would be considered insensitive to others" - God never acts in a careless or thoughtless manner towards us. He is never insensitive to our needs. In fact, He invites us to cast all our care on Him for He cares for us. He is constantly acting in our behalf, constantly looking for opportunities to be good to us.

"Love does not manipulate situations or scheme and devise methods that will twist situations to its own advantage" - Everything God does is to our advantage. We might not always immediately see it as such, but in hindsight we can always see God working in our behalf for our good.

"Love does not deliberately engage in actions or speak words that are so sharp, they cause an ugly or violent response" - God's words towards us are always blanketed in love. Even when His words come as correction it is filled with His love. His words and actions towards us are designed to draw us closer to Him, not to make us run from Him or hide from Him.

"Love does not deliberately keep records of wrongs or past mistakes" - Jesus died on the cross to take away the sins of the world. Now we have a promise from God that He doesn't remember our sins, He doesn't think about them at all. Our record has been wiped clean!

"Love does not feel overjoyed when it sees an injustice done to someone else" - God is a just God, therefore injustice is sin in His eyes. He will never treat us unfairly and He never finds any joy in anyone treating us in an unfair manner either. 

"Love is elated, thrilled, ecstatic, and overjoyed with the truth" - In John 1:17 we read: "
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." Jesus Himself said He is the truth. God cannot lie, He finds joy in truth because He is truth. 

"Love protects, shields, guards, covers, conceals, and safeguards people from exposure" - This reminds me of Psalm 91:1-2: "
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'" God doesn't just protect us in the way we think about protection, He also safeguards us from exposure. That means He doesn't expose us and our flaws to the view of others. What we share with Him stays between us.

"Love strains forward with all its might to believe the very best in every situation" - God doesn't give up. Never! He is with us even when it seems as if the whole world is against us. No matter what happens, we can trust Him to make sure the very best happens in every situation.

"Love always expects and anticipates the best in others and the best for others" - God expects good things for us. Even when it looks like we are going to fail, God is right there with us helping us succeed and to reach His plans for our lives. 

"Love never quits, never surrenders, and never gives up. Love never disappoints, never fails, and never lets anyone down" - I've said it before, and I will say it again, God never quits or gives up. When we put our faith in Him we will never be disappointed, for He will never fail us nor will He let us down. Hebrews 13:5b says: "
...for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down ( relax My hold on you)! [ Assuredly not!]"

God is so good! 

Let us praise Him for who He is and for what He does in our lives every day.