Posts Tagged ‘I Corinthians 13’

Ephesians 5:1-2: Imitate God and walk in love

September 17, 2013

Ephesians_5-1

As is so often the case, the Verse of the Day becomes a springboard for a wonderful unfolding of scriptures that launch us into a glorious new day. Today, September 17, the opening verse is taken from Ephesians 5:1 in the King James Version:

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

Verse 2 continues with the exhortation:

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

In comparing various versions, I many times prefer the Amplified Bible, especially in this case:

Ephesians 5:1-2

Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].

And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.

The Lord desires that as believers we become followers, imitators or mimics of Him, as we continue to walk in the love of God. We should let love lead the way, in that “Love moves first.” Walking in love is the more excellent way, as expressed in this poem by John Oxenham:

Love ever lives, outlives

Love ever lives, outlives, forgives

And while it stands with open hands it lives,

For this is love’s prerogative–

To give, and give, and give.

The last line of the poem repeats the verb “give” three times; however, in actuality, you could extend the repetition “And give and give, and give, and give. . .  (ad infinitum), for true love is giving endlessly.

I Corinthians 13 also reminds us that Love never fails:  Jim Brickman/Amy Sky also reinforce this message in the following video:

When we walk in love, we cannot lose . . . when we fail to walk in love, we cannot win.

Love beareth

I Corinthians 13 concludes with a reference to three quintessential aspects of our lives: “Faith, hope, love . . .” the inspiration for:

These Three

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three;

but the greatest of these is love.

I Corinthians 13:13 (New King James Version)

 

Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love,

and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ

in the sight of our God and Father,        

1 Thessalonians 1:3 (New King James Version)

 

As Abraham lived by faith, trusted and obeyed,

So we walk by faith and follow his example,

For God is faithful and through His Word conveyed

That the blessings of the Lord are more than ample.

Despite the storms of life, we are anchored in hope.

As Kingdom citizens with their minds set above,

We view heavenly bodies as through a telescope

And soar beyond the world on wings of a dove.

We seek to follow after Christ, the more excellent way,

To walk in love and simply follow his command.

Renewing our minds in all that we do and say,

We seek not be understood but to understand.

Live by faith, rejoice in hope, walk in love and see

Faith, hope and love: Love is the greatest of these three.

The opening lyrics learned in my childhood from a song written by Dale Evans Rogers speak of these three essential aspects of the Christian walk:

Have faith, hope and charity,
That’s the way to live successfully.
How do I know? The Bible tells me so.

Indeed the Scriptures remind us to “live by faith,” “rejoice in hope,” and “walk in love.”

Celebrating the love of God: every day, not just on February 14

February 14, 2012
I Corinthians offers the quintessential definition of true love–God’s love.
Valentine’s Day is set apart to celebrate love, but we must recognize various forms of love, including the love of God or agape, the highest form of love. It differs from eros or passion or sensuous love of the flesh and is even beyond philos­ or love of friends or family. The root of philos is found in the designation of Philadelphia, which is known as the “City of Brotherly Love.” There is a love which is “more intimate than friend, or kin or wife;” this close-knit love is known as agape.

This particular term which is used exclusively in the New Testament, reveals the uniqueness of God’s love, so clearly defined in I Corinthians 13, a passage of scripture that is often excerpted or quoted in its entirety at weddings. This section from verses 4-7 of the Amplified Bible illustrates the distinctive power of the love of God:

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act  unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self- seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

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].

The first part of verse 8 reiterates that “Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].”

With love, as with any other emotion, there must be a demonstration or manifestation whereby one knows the reality of the emotion in question. We speak of the love of God in manifestation which is so clearly demonstrated in one of the most widely recognized verses in the Bible, John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

It has been said that you can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. Indeed, all love is giving. The essence of love as defined by giving is also seen in this poem by John Oxenham:

            Love ever lives, outlives, forgives,

            And while it stands with open hands it lives.

            For this is love’s prerogative:

            To give and give and give

 

To learn more about three essentials of Christianity—faith, hope and love, click on the following links:

http://www.examiner.com/christian-spirituality-in-columbus/faith-hope-and-love-three-essentials-christianity

http://www.examiner.com/christian-spirituality-in-columbus/christianity-101-what-is-faith

http://www.examiner.com/christian-spirituality-in-columbus/christianity-101-what-is-hope

http://www.examiner.com/christian-spirituality-in-columbus/christianity-101-what-is-love

Mercy Me, contemporary Christian musical group, offers a most poignant portrait of “The Love of God”  in their version of the hymn with that title: