“Love is patient, love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4a).
I can glance over 1 Corinthians 13, thinking I know it well. I need to slow down and let God speak to me through it.
Am I patient? It is easier for me to be patient with others than with myself.
Lord, forgive me for putting heavy expectations onto myself–feeling a failure when I do not meet them. Thank You for your loving [unconditional] acceptance of me.
Do I envy, boast or parade around proudly? [vs. 4] I can envy those whose lives appear easier than mine. I struggle with being single. I give encouragement to others and need to take the same advice within for myself.
Lord, help me to stay balanced in my acceptance of the life You have given to me. As I encourage others, it is your love upholding me and fueling the words.
Am I self-seeking; do I dishonor others or become angered keeping records of wrong doing? [vs. 5] I do judge others, seldom overtly – but inwardly. I am to judge wrong actions, but not another made in God’s image. It dishonors God and others if I stay stuck in this place.
Lord, thank You for the gift of your forgiveness. I seek to live in the present, loving and leaving the past where it belongs, in your hands.
Do I let love protect, trust, hope, and persevere? [vs. 7] Love is God’s life and presence within me. It is a gift He gives to me.
Lord, thank you that You have given me the choice to receive your protection, that You trust me to trust, hope and persevere with You.
Love never fails. [vs. 8] I may fail but God never fails, nor does He see me as a failure. God is love and views me through his righteousness, my sin and failures paid for by his death on the Cross.
Lord, as I turn to You in my failures, restore to my heart and eyes, love for myself and for others.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. [vs. 12] Like a reflection in a mirror, I want to reflect the image of Christ.
Lord, thank You for modeling how reflection of the Father and his love is lived out. Help me to follow your lead until such time as no mirror is needed.
Three remain: faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love. [vs. 13] Yes, the greatest is love, but all three virtues are part of God and are within me.
Lord, your love will sustain faith and hope. I thank You that these are gifts You give to me and to any who believe and accept them for themselves.
Prayer: Lord, You are patient and kind–love personified. Help me to love as You love. Amen.
About the Author:
Lynn Severance is a retired elementary classroom teacher. Since 1983, she has lived with vestibular dysfunction: constant dizziness, sessions of vertigo and related side effects of nausea, balance problems, neck and back pain, visual tracking and eye fatigue. She is a breast cancer survivor having gone through surgery and chemotherapy treatments in 1987-88. She lives in Lynnwood, Washington. Do visit her blog at .http://lynnseverance.blogspot.com
As you read through 1 Corinthians 13, which components of love are ones where you want to improve?
How does God’s unconditional love inspire you to persevere to love as He loves? If love is the “greatest” of all these gifts, how do the other two [ faith and hope ] uphold you as well?
Kari Jobe reminds us in her song, “Love Came Down” of the reason we can live out 1 Corinthians 13. When I remember that I am His, that He wants me to love with His love–all things are possible. -Lynn