Imagine…

“If I can speak in the tongues of men and even of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God’s love for us and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging symbol, and if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing ( a useless nobody). Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing.

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy, fretful, or resentful; if takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes and is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].

As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away (it will lose its value and be superseded by truth]. For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect). But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded).

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside. For now, we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma, but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God].

And so faith, hope, and love abide [faith–conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope–joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love–true affection of God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.” ( 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 AMP)

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This is the entire thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians; aka “the love chapter.” Every Christ-follower should have a thorough understanding of this chapter and obey it because our ability to love other people as much as we love God is what shows the lost people around us God’s love for them. If we fail to walk in the Agape love of God towards other people, especially other Christians, then everything we do is useless. We gain nothing. It becomes wood, hay, and stubble and will be burnt up at the judgment seat of Christ that we will all face in eternity.

I watch a lot of Youtube video channels on many different topics. There are a lot of Christian people who share information on their channels and talk about the Lord, and that is a great way to spread the Gospel. Unfortunately, I’ve seen at different times, displays of the opposite of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13. It’s sad because such a public platform should be a great way to display the love of God and show the world what love really looks like. All too often though, we see Christians failing to keep this standard on public platforms. Walking in true Agape love is hard because it demands humility when we are wrong and when people can’t or won’t do the right thing it grieves the Holy Spirit.

I have been pondering on this issue for a day or so and I went back to study 1 Corinthians 13 again. This chapter is such a toe-stomper because we all struggle to keep this standard of love in a world where everyone gets offended so easily. For example, I was thinking about a friend of mine on social media and went to their page, and low and behold they had unfriended me! It was like a dagger entered my heart because I couldn’t understand what I had done to this person to warrant being unfriended. I have to admit I was hurt by it because I thought we were friends. We’re both Christians and now we aren’t friends? How is that possible in the Kingdom of God where love is the glue that binds us together? I must admit that it has taken me a week or so to work through the rejection of this. But 1 Corinthians 13 gives me the answer on how to handle this: love pays no attention to a suffered wrong; love bears up under anything and everything. How do you handle the rejection of other believers? I went straight to the Lord Jesus Christ and forgave the person and asked to be healed of this fiery dart. I cast this care into His hands and today, I feel much better about it. Jesus said, “in the world, you will have tribulations and trials, but I have overcome the world.” It’s a given that sometimes we will be rejected by others, we will be canceled by others and yes, sometimes they will also be Christians. However, we are responsible only for our response to these fiery darts. Go to 1 Corinthians 13 when you get hit.

Imagine for a moment, if for one day, everyone who claims to be a Christian would actually obey 1 Corinthians 13. There would be no divisive arguments on issues that have no eternal value; people would overlook wrongs done to them; love would cover a multitude of sins. Imagine how a day like this would impact the world around us! The best way to change a culture is to let it begin with you and me as individuals. If we make the decision every morning to actually obey 1 Corinthians 13, we can and will change the world around us and see people come into God’s kingdom realm.

Today, I can start with me. I choose to not be offended by the rejection of others. I can choose to love and pray for their benefit. Today, when I see fellow believers embroiled in strife, I will not join in and give my opinion, I will pray for their eyes to be opened and that they would be restored to fellowship. Today, I can take stock of the people in my realm of influence and see if I need to mend relationships by apologizing or doing something kind for them. As Christians, we must walk humbly before God. This ability is a powerful weapon to overcome evil because love has the ability to overcome evil with good.

If you are in a situation where you have been rejected or offended by someone, take some time today to meditate on 1 Corinthians 13 and meet with the Lord to forgive and be set free from any offense. Remember, true Agape love, covers a multitude of sins. On the flip side, if you know you have offended or hurt someone else, humble yourself and go try to make peace with that person. It really does help you, in the long run, to do everything you can to pursue peace with all people. God takes note of it. Even if they don’t respond or reject it, you have fulfilled all righteousness and God will be very pleased with you. Imagine what you can do today to fulfill 1 Corinthians 13…

Blessings everyone…

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