“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. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…Love never fails…And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-13 NIV).
This is a powerful passage of Scripture. One that depicts the Lord’s heart and His desire for His people to not only love Him, but to love one another as well. Often times in life people love when it is convenient and comfortable for them. They love those closest to them and those who love them also, but they forget to love the unlovely. The individual’s who have offended or hurt them; the people who have brought them hardship or heartache. How do you love those who seem so unlovable? A perfect example of this principle is displayed in the Scriptures. In John 3:16 NIV it says; “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
When Jesus died on the cross and rose again, He displayed His unconditional love for each and every one of us. He took the sins of the world onto His body and chose to give His life as a living sacrifice so that we might “have life and have it more abundantly.” This amazing act of love is the perfect example for each and every person to follow.
To love is to have a pure heart towards a person or group of people, no matter what they have done against you. It means setting yourself aside and loving unconditionally just as Jesus loves each and every one of us. It means forgiving others, even when it would be easier to hold a grudge. It also means letting go sometimes and placing a person in the hands of the Lord, loving them and praying for them from a far; while displaying integrity and leading your life as an example for Christ.
Love is not simply an act of doing well for others; it is a condition of the heart. Just as hate is a condition of the heart as well. An example of this is shown in 1 John 3:15 (Amplified) which states; “Anyone who hates (abominates, detests) his brother (in Christ) is (at heart) a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding (persevering) within him.”
This Scripture is depicting the importance of one’s heart condition. The Lord is just as concerned with the condition of your heart as the actions you display. The Bible says; …“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Matthew 12:34 NIV). This means that what is in your heart will eventually come out through your words and actions. If you have hatred in your heart, then you will act out of that heart condition through your behaviors. If you have love in your heart, then you will respond in love towards others and display the fruits of the Spirit in your life which are; “…love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22 NIV).
Today, be encouraged that Jesus loves you and because He loves you, you also have the ability to love others around you. It does not matter who you are or what you have done in your life. If you surrender to Jesus and allow Him access to your heart, He will transform your life and give you the capacity to love as He loves. You can start by praying this prayer aloud to Him;
Dear Lord Jesus,
I ask that You would forgive me of my sins and wash me clean with Your blood. I ask that You would be the Lord and Savior of my life. I welcome You into my heart Lord Jesus and ask that You would fill me to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit, Your love, Your peace, and Your joy. Help me to love those around me and use my life to make a difference for Your glory.
In Jesus Mighty Name I Pray,