by PastorErick | 2/13/17, 3:28 PM
 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
I. Love is Long-Suffering
What we mean by long-suffering is patient and kind as Paul says in vs. 4 above. The Bible’s definition of love acknowledges the reality of life. Anybody who’s really loved someone else knows that inevitably that relationship may not always bring joy and ease. It may bring hurt and challenge at some point. Godly love is defined by its ability to stay the course even when things get rough.
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.
II. Love is Humble
Paul writes, “love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way….” Again, when we think of a common picture of love that is given to us we may think of someone saying, “I’ll meet you halfway," but Paul seems to indicate that in fact, love goes further. In his letter to the Philippians he writes this:
In humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Phil. 2:3)Real love is so humble that it goes all the way for the other person, not merely halfway....
III. Love is forgiving
Paul says it this way in our text: "Love is not irritable or resentful." That word “resentful” literally can be translated, “does not keep a record of wrongs.” In other words, real love forgives. Now don’t hear me saying this flippantly. I know how incredibly difficult forgiveness is in the realities of our messy lives. I know it’s not easy. But we can’t deny it: Love and forgiveness go together. Anne Lamott said, “Not forgiving someone is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
IV. Love is truthful
“Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.” Now this last element is what ties it all together. Here’s what I mean: What we’re tempted to believe is that if we are longsuffering, humble and forgiving then we might just sort of wimp out on our convictions, but no, perfect love rejoices with the truth.
Ok, so we’ve learned today what Godly love really looks like: It is long-suffering, it is humble, it is forgiving and it is truthful! Now Paul caps it all off: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
Whoa! I don't know about you, but when I read through this list of all that love really is, I find myself realizing I could be a whole lot more loving! I mean I look at my heart and my life, and I find that so often I am much more selfish than I wish I was. And yet....
The truth is, everyone of us needs the kind of love that is describe above. We all need to know someone loves us this unconditionally and this faithfully.
Here's the good news. There is one who does. No, it's not your spouse or a friend or anyone else here. Ultimately when we read this definition of love, what we’re really reading is a definition of Jesus. Only Jesus is completely patient and kind always and forever.
How long-suffering is he? He is so long suffering that He came down to this world, endured the pain of the cross and shame that came with it for you and me.
How humble is Jesus? Philippians 2 says again: Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant....
How forgiving is Jesus? The Bible says when He was on that cross He prayed to the Father on behalf of the very people that were nailing him to the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” He is so forgiving that He promises that to all who trust in Him that every last sin of theirs is washed away completely!
How truthful is Jesus? Why, He is the very embodiment of it! After all, He says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."
So when we talk about love, what we're really talking about is who God is FOR YOU through Christ. What we're really saying is that you are loved more than you can possibly imagine....
Grace and Peace,
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