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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Do I REALLY love God?

1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)
Love NEVER gives up, NEVER loses faith, is ALWAYS hopeful, and endures through EVERY circumstance.

Do I really love God? It's an interesting question to ponder. Recently, God has re-emphasized to me that I am to love Him with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength and THEN, that I am to love my neighbor. This is His daily will for my life. In practicality, though, how do you do that?

1 Corinthians 13, the L~O~V~E chapter, is often used at weddings, but as I came across this passage in my quiet time this last week, it occurred to me... does my daily love for God match up with love, as seen in this chapter? The New Living Translation so vividly describes the qualities of LOVE. Verse 7 especially jumps out at me. LOVE never gives up... It never loses faith... It is always hopeful... It endures through every circumstance... As I think about each of these things, I must admit that I fall short. When I am disappointed, I give up. When the future is uncertain, I lose faith. When I can't see an answer, I lose hope. When circumstances overwhelm me, I am distracted from the truth. I have to ask myself... why can't I persevere? Why can't I believe? Why can't I trust?

As I look back over the entire chapter, I see so many other words that describe LOVE - patient, kind, just, long-lasting, not jealous or boastful, not demanding, not irritable (OUCH! that one I have a hard time with), not bitter. I guess the qualities in verse 7 stand out to me because I have stuggled so much lately with faith and hope. God gave me a promise years ago which I claimed to believe, yet as time went on, in my weakness, I doubted. I gave up. I lost faith. I abandoned hope. I failed to hold fast to the promise of the One who is faithful... Hebrews 10:23 (NKJV) "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for He who promised is faithful."

So ~ how would you describe your love for God? How easily do you give up Him? How often do you lose faith in His promises? How well do you endure through the tough circumstances you don't like and don't understand? Well, if you are anything like me, you may be finding that you don't quite measure up. The good news is that in our weakness, He sees fit to lift us up and continually remind us that He is FAITHFUL, even when we are not!

Deuteronomy 7:6-9 (NIV)
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God.
The Lord your God has chosen you
out of all the peoples on the face of the earth
to be his people, his treasured possession.
The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you
because you were more numerous than other peoples,
for you were the fewest of all peoples.
But it was because the Lord loved you
and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers
that he brought you out with a mighty hand
and redeemed you from the land of slavery,
from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God;
he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love
to a thousand generations of those who love him
and keep his commands.

Praise God ~ HIS love endures F~O~R~E~V~E~R!

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