Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Love Lived Out of Him
This morning, as I try to do on most mornings, I was meditating on the precious Word in I Corinthians 13. It is called the Love Chapter, and speaks of the great characteristics of God's love. In recent months, I have sought to understand His way of loving. I, like most of us, have concentrated too much on the outward expression of His love, rather than the inward experience and knowledge of it.
We all, within ourselves, struggle to "fit" within the perimeter of this holy love. Especially, when it is put to the test, and we fail. But, a few short weeks ago, the Holy Spirit began to open the eyes of my understanding as to Who this love is, and not "what" it does.
You see...this life changing love is Jesus. All of the attributes spoken of in I Corinthians 13 is Who He is. Jesus did not TRY to live out love. Love lived out of Him. Love possessed Him because it was His nature, His character, His TRUE self.
I think of the description of love in I Corinthians 13 as the "coat of many colors", for Love displays itself in beautiful colors of patience, kindness, gentleness, meekness, humility, longsuffering, hope, believing the best of others, strength , selflessness, forgiveness, God-exalting living, etc.
Romans 5:5 says this Love HAS been shed abroad in our hearts. I think of the old style farming, where the seed would be sown widely in the prepared fields, and then waited upon to produce the fruit of the harvest. This past summer, I found pumpkin plants springing forth from the seeds of other pumpkins that had been allowed to die naturally in my garden. Over a hundred little plants sprang up without my doing anything except providing a place for them to grow.
Jesus spoke of Himself as the kernel of grain that would die, only in the future to reproduce Himself in generations of believers to come forth from His death, burial, and resurrection. His Seed is still reproducing itself in countless millions who have had the Gospel of Love planted in their hearts.
God sowed Jesus into our hearts. He clothed our born again spirits in His love, and weaved the beautiful character of Christ into us. He changed us inwardly so that we would not have to struggle in loving, but be able to allow His Love to flow out of us, just as it did through Jesus.
My soul can stop the flow. I can hang onto unforgiveness, evil thoughts of others, hopelessness, rudeness, unkindness, and the like, and dam up the very living water that is in my spirit. Or, I can turn to I Corinthians 13, open myself to its washing, and watch as God removes all hindrances to His love in me, for me, and then THROUGH me to others.
I can put on the beautiful garment of the many graces of God, and learn how to wear it for others to see, or I can walk around in the rags of sin and hide the very glory of God that He gave to me to be displayed to others.
I choose to be washed. I choose His garments of praise. I choose to let His seed multiply in me. It requires death, though. It requires that I die to my "self", my "selfishness", my "self-exalting" ways, my "self-promoting" pride. It requires knowledge of Him, the kind of knowledge that changes the very way I act, believe, think, and live.
Oh, if I had to do this on my own; it would not be accomplished. But, as David penned, "Your Word is the lamp unto my feet, and the light unto my path", I know that as I TAKE IN His Living Word; I will be changed from glory to glory through that new life that has been given to me in Christ.
Stop trying to live outwardly what you don't understand inwardly. Seek FIRST the kingdom of God. Seek to KNOW Him and His character. As your mind becomes transformed by Truth, you will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to live love to others.
May His grace soften the soil of your heart to receive the Divine Seed!
Loving Him and you,