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Archive for February 14th, 2013

Be Love-Part 3

Be Love-Part 3
Fact: Remember that God is Love, and Love is strong-not weak.  Love is a spirit, and you (a Christian) are love.  Love abounds over evil (1 John 4:8, John 3:16, Psalms 91:13).
 
In 1 Corinthians 13, the Lord defines what love is.
2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails. ….13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
 
When you think about the ways of the world, they are in direct contrast to what God says.  It is not human nature to love (Matthew 22:39, Romans 7:18, Philippians 2:3).  Remember that love is a decision.  You have to decide to be love to people.  When you love like God, you look beyond the outward (John 14:6).  See like God sees. Look for the beauty and potential in people.  Be impressed with the fruits of the spirit—not the gifts of the spirit. Love is deciding to treat people kindly.  Showing manners and respect to others is an act of love.  Below are some areas where we can be love to others. Sometimes, Christians loose balance, and disobey God.  And there are consequences for disobedience.  When we are rude to people and don’t show love, we lose something in this life for ourselves (Luke 6:35). 
 
How Can Love be Hindered?
The first area is envy. It is to be angry about someone else’s blessing. It is a lack of faith.  Check your heart for envy because it tries to get you to sin (Genesis 4:3).  You don’t need to harbor envy because God has enough blessings for everyone.  If you want something, just ask the Lord. You get rid of envy by blessing the person who has what you want. Second, don’t complain; instead, constantly give thanks.  Don’t look for the negative in people (Deuteronomy 8:10-14).  Love is not pointing out people’s imperfections.  Third, pride blocks love every time.  Allow yourself to be corrected, and check for puffed up thoughts.  Don’t reject or be rude to the elderly.  Don’t look down on others, and don’t laugh and make fun of people. Also, don’t demand too much from people; be considerate. Finally, watch out for rudeness.  Help people; don’t be rude to them.  Rudeness is to be animal like, prideful and coarse.  It’s inconsiderate and proves lack of skill in love.  For example, a person who is always late is rude.  A person who makes fun of others is rude.  A person who cuts others off in a conversation is rude.  Holding private conversations while others are talking is rude.  A person who does not apologize after a problem is rude.  Not paying bills on time (or at all) is rude.  A person who is easily irritated is rude. Text messaging at the dinner table, coughing (without covering your mouth), ignoring people, not tipping people who provide a service for you, and even leaving church before the benediction is over are all signs of rudeness.  Remember that the love of God is not rude. 
 
Put others before yourself, and don’t be easily angered.  Be willing to give your time. Remember that love is a ministry.  It involves handling people in a skillful way. 
 
Love,
Dr. Joyce Oliver

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