February has been renamed as “the love month” by some. Interesting idea: What if we took this month to get serious about what God says about l-o-v-e in 1 Corinthians 13? Love is so much more than what this world makes it out to be. It’s not about candy hearts and the romance we see in movies. Here is a much better use of our time and thoughts: What if we allowed ourselves to be consumed with the God Romance. God loves each of us dearly, and has great compassion for us. Let’s give Him our all in loving Him, loving others, and loving ourselves. I have this set of verses that are written out on my bookshelf. Hosea 2:14 and Zeph 3:17 say:
“Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her (Hosea 2:14)…
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing (Zeph 3:17).”
What if we took the challenge? Focusing on the various aspects of love on a regular day basis. How would you pursue it?
Here is what I felt led to do today. I actually have felt led to do this for longer than today, but I didn’t become obedient in doing it until today. What if I let love cover my mirror? Covering it with what God says about love… Spending this month and ask/answer these and other questions:
- What is love?
- What does it look like in our relationships?
- What would it do to our lives?
- Could God use it to continue to renew our minds (by studying His Word) and being transformed by Him? Yes, He most certainly could!
A month or so ago, I wrote on an index card: “Love is patient.” Included in the index card was a prayer, to help me…as I try to be mindful of the need to be patient. We live in a world where everything is “now, now, now”. Where we want things in absolute immediacy. Expecting fast food speed in our daily lives. Patience is a long awaited virtue in our generation. Where is our patience?
In Galatians 5:22-23, we even find some of those love characteristics in the fruit of the Spirit. Love being the first and most obvious characteristic. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. (22-23)” Next Paul writes, “Against such things there is no law.” Love in its truest form fulfills the law of Christ. There is much more to love than we realize.
So this month (and the following months as we continue), let’s be about LOVE.
I opted to add a concept about love to a small index card, and tape it on a side mirror in my bathroom. The following is what I have written down to be mindful of:
Love always wins.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love does not envy.
Love is not boastful.
Love is not proud.
Love is not rude.
Love does not demand its own way.
Love is not irritable
Love keeps no record of being wronged.
Imagine a place in your house. It may be in your kitchen, bedroom, next to your tv, by your desk, or in your car. How can you allow these verses and the Holy Spirit to renew your mind about love, relationships, and how it can affect your life or God’s Kingdom.
As I walked by earlier, I was reminded that “love does not envy”. I was immediately reminded of this passage in Matthew: “46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:46-48)
How can we willingly be challenged by love? Not just love, but God’s love. Consider this a love dare of sorts.
Be holy…set apart…even how we live out His love for us…and as we love others as ourselves.
Even practicing love and 1 Cor. 13:4-8 in learning how to truly love ourselves!