As my husband and I were driving through a long stretch of desert highway, on our way to celebrate our wedding anniversary, I decided to open up my Bible and begin reading where I had previously left off. I would like to share with you the scriptures I read that are a beautiful ode to love. I was happy to see that God went before us and "happened" to place these scriptures for me to read at this special time of our marriage.
I could not have planned or picked a better time to read these beautiful words. But God, who is the Author of marriage, planned that at my next scripture reading time - these words would be included in my devotions as a beautiful reminder:
"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, it is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
"Love suffers for a long time. Our modern "throw away" society encourages us to get rid of people in our lives who are difficult to get along with, whether they are friends, family, or acquaintances. Yet this attitude runs in complete contrast to the love described by Paul. True love puts up with people who would be easier to give up on.
Love does not envy. If our love is directed towards others, we will rejoice in the blessings they receive rather than desiring those blessings for ourselves. Fundamentally, selfless love that God calls us to does not involve pride or glory. It does not parade itself and is not puffed up. In fact, true love does not seek its own. If we truly love others, we will set aside our own plans, agendas, and entitlements for the good of the other.
Love is not provoked. That is, love is not easily angered or over-sensitive. When we truly love others we are careful not to be touchy concerning other people's words or actions towards us. Love never gives up, knowing that God can change lives for the better.
Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. The godly love described in this chapter has nothing to do with evil, but everything to do with what is right and true. It believes all things and hopes all things. This does not mean that love is blind and naive. When we love, we may recognize failures and problems in people, but we do not lose faith in the possibilities of what people might become. Love never gives up, knowing God can change lives for the better.
Finally, love endures all things. Love accepts any hardship or rejections, and continues unabated to build up and encourage. The love described by Paul in this "love chapter" means determining what is best for another person and then doing it. This is the kind of love that God shows us." Commentary
FATHER, Thank you for reminding us that this kind of love is a love based on deliberate choice of the one who loves rather than the worthiness of the one who is loved. It is only through the power of your Holy Spirit that we can exhibit this kind of love. Thank you that you are willing to give us all the grace, mercy and power to love like You!