Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, 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. (I-Corinthians 13:4-7)
“Stupid is as stupid does. That’s what my mama used to say,” a quotation from the movie Forest Gump, no I haven’t lost it. Can we allow ourselves to have such sensible one-liners burn themselves into our minds and linger there for years and yet as Christians fail to remember the one-liners in God’s word? The Old and New Testament have many to choose from, two of my favorites are: “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3) and “Why do you trouble the woman?” (Matthew 20:10). If you were looking for a one-liner or short quote to let linger in your mind, the introductory verse is loaded. How about this one Mr. Gump? “Love is as Love does. That’s what my bible says.”
If human love does not carry a person beyond himself, it is not love. If love is always discreet, always wise, always sensible and calculating, never carried beyond itself, always have to have the last word; it is not love at all. It maybe affection, it may be infatuation, but it does not have the true nature of love in it.
A young woman I was dating made an everlasting impression on me about love as we were discussing our floundering love affair, we had mutual affections but different ideas about the future of the relationship. She pointedly said to me; “You are not in love with me, you are in love with the idea of being in love with me!” It was if she had peaked into my heart and mind and withdrew a truth that I had not perceived. This is the case for many Christians when it comes to our love affair with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit; we are in love with the idea of being in love with one or all of them.
Have I ever been carried away in the Spirit to do something for God not because I felt it was my Christian duty, or because there was something in it for me beyond the fact that I love Him? As a Christian and especially, as a Minister of the Gospel, I have to continuously ask myself questions. Am I bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things for the love of Jesus Christ? If I have not let go of the envy, parading, puffiness, rudeness, selfishness, provocations, evil thoughts and iniquities, I am in love with the idea of loving God, but not truly loving Him. Jesus said “If you love me you will obey my commandments.” It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
We have to get rid of the idea of being in love with God and fall in love with Him, possessed with a child-like awe and inspiration of who he His is. He is the god that loves us so much that He said “I will dwell in you and I will walk among you, I will be your God and you shall be My people.” A scribe asked Jesus which is the greatest commandment of all? And Jesus answered him. “The first of all the commandments is, thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).
Because the scribe was paying attention, he was able to repeat what he heard Jesus say, and the scribe said to Jesus, “Well, Master thou has said the truth; for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said to him, “Thou are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared ask Jesus any more questions. Jesus had the last word on love because he knew love is what love does.
So the next time you need a one-liner remember these six words; “For God so loved the world.” Be blessed and bless someone in Jesus’ name. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- Are You Lying To Jesus? (pastorpaulvbsblog.blogspot.com)