The Power of Love

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. – (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, NIV)

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs against it. – (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, ERV)

Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. – (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, TPT)

 

Love is a powerful force, created by God, to bring people together. Not only are we commanded to love, but His word unpacks for us, how to love like Him. To say that love is patient, means that love needs to contain the capacity for endurance. It is not to have an on/off switch based on circumstance, but rather love endures through all things, at all times. Love is kind, is an expectation that love will choose to be considerate, helpful, gentle and from a tendency toward tenderness. A love that does not envy, is one that rejoices in the successes and blessings of others, rather than wishing they were their own. True love does not need to place their own accomplishments on parade, nor promote self, for their heart, their love and their kindness speak for their character. This one is one that I witness far too often in middle school, and it is one of my greatest frustrations, as love does not dishonor, belittle nor disrespect others. To be easily angered is to have a short fuse, and God, in His grace, will replace the short wick with a long one, if we depend on Him. Lastly, love not keeping record of wrongs, is a curious call. Of course, we are not to hold grudges, and we must forgive, for unforgiveness is toxic to the holder, not the offender. However, it is impossible in our own strength to not be at least a bit influenced by the treatment we have received in the past from others. To love the way in which God calls us to love, we need Him, every moment of every day. We are broken and flawed; He is holy and perfect and pure. If we rely on Him, we can learn to love as we are meant to love. May we ever seek the Lord and His heart for others, so that we love as He first loved us.

 

Lord, help us to love, Diligent for All of Our Days

Be patient and kind;

Never to envy,

Keep others in mind.

Lead us to honor,

Each other in love;

Respect and forgive,

Love as You first loved.

Help us to let go,

Of wrongs of the past;

Forgive, move forward,

With Your love that lasts.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us and instruct us to love. Thank You that You sent Your Son to show us what it is to love the way that we are called to love. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected to love, as our words, thoughts or actions countered the very things You call us to do. Teach us to trust You more, so that we walk in love according to Your instructions. Show us how to love patiently and with kindness, and keep envy, pride and anger far from us. Help us to meet those around us with the love that is needed most, even when their words or actions make us want to run the other direction. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we depend on You to love the way that You are calling us to love. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. – Psalm 103:8

Strength in a Sabbath

“Then He said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” – Mark 2:27

photo by My Purpose in Him

Jesus explained to all who questioned Him about picking some heads of grain as they walked on the Sabbath.  He let them know that the purpose of the Sabbath was made to provide rest for man, rather than man being made for rest.

We are all called to do some sort of work unto Him.  For some, it is managing house and home; for others, it is something outside of the home.  Each of us are called to something that requires work.  After several days of work, our bodies need a bit of rest so that our hearts and minds may be restored – equipping us to continue in our calling.

None of us are made for the Sabbath.  We are made to commune with Christ.  If we labor and toil without rest, we soon lose sight of the original purpose.  God provides an entire day for us to slow down and seek Him, granting us fresh opportunity to be restored and recharged for the coming week.  What we do with that time, our wonderful weekend, is up to us.

My natural inclination is to be a weekend warrior.  Everything in me wants to schedule all waking moments with something wonderful.  If I do not safeguard some time for rest, I end up beginning the new week completely depleted, unable to accomplish all that is intended.  If I reserve some sacred time for rest, rather than running around, my new week begins with strength and stamina, supplied by my Savior through time spent resting in Him.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You made the Sabbath for our benefit, not us for the benefit of the Sabbath.  Forgive us for not finding time to rest and be refreshed in You.  Teach us how to set aside time and space to seek You and to rest in Your peaceful presence.  Please show each of us what You would have us do to partake in the Sabbath that You provide us.  May we not miss the moments meant to be spent in the safety of Your sweet rest.  Refresh and renew us so that we may again return to the calling You have created for each of us.  Use us to touch lives and transform communities, as we are equipped and empowered by You alone.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present