We choose to love

1 Corinthians 13--4-7

For the Verse of the Day for February 12, 2016 we find two more verses from 1 Corinthians 13 further describing “charity” or agape or the love of God:

1 Corinthians 13: 6-7 (KJV):

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Here are two variations of these verses from two other Bibles:

New Living Translation:

It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Amplified Bible:

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

As I thought about these verses from 1 Corinthians 13, a passage from Romans 8 (my favorite chapter in the whole Bible) also came to mind, relating to the constancy of the love of God which never fails. No matter the circumstances of our lives, whether on the pinnacles of success and dreams come true or in the pits of disappointment and failure, we are assured that God loves us and that His love endures. I recall a statement from the late Dr. Adrian Rodgers, “God cannot love us any more than He does, and He will not love us any less.” The chapter concludes with this most assuring reminder expressed in the Amplified Bible:

Romans 8:37-39

37 Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.

38 For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,

39 Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In reflecting on the topic of love, we are not just talking about words, but there must a corresponding demonstration of love, whereby one puts words into action, going from articulation to manifestation. The familiar quote reminds us: “Love is a verb. Without action it is only a word.” We also recognize that love is a choice, a concept expressed in this poem:

We Choose to Love

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love

–and the greatest of these is love.

   1 Corinthians 13:13 (New Living Translation)

Father, expand our minds and widen our comprehension

To recognize Your ways at an even greater dimension.

As we call upon Your name and bow in humility,

Striving to be all that You have called us to be,

Enlighten our eyes, strengthen our hearts to endure,

As we walk in the love of God, boundless and pure.

When we are tempted, knowing that You love us dispels all fear.

As we seek to please You, open our ears that we might hear

Your word and endeavor to hide it deep within our heart.

Despite past failures, misdeeds, and shortcomings on our part,

Your love is constant and never changes but ever grows,

Unfolding in matchless beauty as a dew-kissed rose.

Though we walk by faith, rest in hope, looking above,

Our greatest desire is please You and choose to love.

 

Listen as Newsong offers this powerful musical reminder: “Choose to Love,” an appropriate way to conclude this blog entry:

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