#20: THE LOVE OF GOD
(from I Corinthians 13)
One reason we need the love of God is that it can enable us to cease from strife. A Greek word which is often translated “strife” in the New Testament is “eritheia”. It means, “strife, selfish ambition, contention, discord, quarreling, and party spirit”. Before the New Testament was written, it was used by Aristotle to describe “a self-seeking pursuit of a political office by unfair means”. Have we been seeing any of that lately? As we use our faith to push back the spirit of error, let’s not get into strife. Rather, let us speak the truth in love and in faith. Here are some Scriptures on love paraphrased into proverbs. Let’s allow these to minister to our hearts today:
The highest and most excellent way to live
is to be motivated by God’s love and empowered by His Spirit.
Like one making loud, annoying racket,
so is he who practices religion without love. (12:31-13:8)
As the sound of the repeated clashing of a cymbal is one
who speaks in various tongues of men and angels,
but has no love. (v. 1)
One who understands deep truth,
but has no love, is nothing. (v. 2)
He who has enough faith to move large obstacles,
but has no love, amounts to nothing. (v. 3)
Whoever sacrifices all - even his own life - but is not motivated
by love for God and others, will receive no reward. (v. 3)
One moving outside the love of God
becomes irritated and resentful
and remembers all wrongs committed against him.
But one with God’s love forgives and forgets. (v. 5)
Some are rude and discourteous,
and an insensitive person is tactless and thoughtless.
But one with God’s love is caring, courteous,
sensitive and considerate. (v. 5)
A scoffer brags and seeks vain glory;
he is rude, ill-mannered, angry, and self-centered.
But followers of wisdom choose God's love, which
keeps them from falling, is full of courage, and never fails.
(v. 5, 7-8, Proverbs 22:10, 28:25, 29:8)
The love of God is longsuffering, patient, meek and kind,
and enduring through troubles. (v. 4, Romans 12:12)
He who follows his flesh is quick to criticize and retaliate,
but the love of God overlooks suffered wrongs
and focuses on higher things. (v. 5)
One with a quick temper fights and shoves others.
But one walking in love endures much for a long time
and is still patient and kind. (v. 4, Ephesians 4:2)
Through difficult circumstances, one filled with God’s love
endures whatever comes.
He will emerge victorious! (v. 4, 7-8a)
Note: this devotional is from Proverbs of Faith, Hope, and Love, Volume 1, from Day 5, pages 21-22.