Thursday, February 14, 2019
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Happy Valentine’s Day. For the majority of us, this is the day we go above and beyond the norm to express our hearts to the one true love of our life. For some of you this is a very hard day because the one true love of your life is already in the presence of the One True Love of their life, Jesus Christ. I hurt for those who have no one with whom to share this day. But I rejoice in the promise of God that His love is sufficient to sustain you, because He is the One True Lover of your life.
For those who have a valentine with whom to share your love, let me challenge you with some questions to ask yourself. How you answer them could provide you with the greatest valentine gift you have ever given.
- Are you patient with your valentine, not demanding change according to your schedule, but letting God grow them and change them at His rate and according to His purpose? Love is patient.
- Are you being kind to your valentine, even when they have done nothing to deserve it or even when they have hurt you? Are you doing acts of kindness out of the love you have in your heart for them rather out of a desire to solicit a response from them? Love is kind and does not envy.
- Are you building up your valentine by focusing your attention on who they are or are you drawing attention to yourself? Love does not boast and is not proud.
- Are you polite to your valentine, treating them with respect and honor, both in public and in the home? Love is not rude.
- Are your choices and decisions made for the unconditional benefit of your valentine or do you hope to receive a personal benefit for what you have done? Love is not self-seeking.
- Do you get easily frustrated with your valentine over little things that really don’t matter much in the big picture of your love? Love is not easily angered.
- Do you know how to truly forgive your valentine by never using that sin or mistake against them in the future? Love keeps no record of wrongs.
- Does your love remain constant and even grow when your valentine tells you the truth about something they have done wrong, or do you enjoy the times you can put them in their place because of what they have done? Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
- Do you protect your valentine by giving encouraging and uplifting reports of your valentine to others so they form positive opinions of who they are, or do you vent your frustrations to others and thereby diminish their status in the eyes of others? Love always protects.
- Do you restore trust in your valentine after there has been a failure or disappointment, and do you believe the best about them no matter what has happened? Love always trusts.
- Do you see the full potential of your valentine and believe that it is achievable, and do you encourage your valentine to fulfill that potential? Love always hopes.
- Are you committed to your valentine no matter what happens because your love is a decision of your will and it cannot be destroyed, or is your love based on your emotions and personal happiness and will change as needed? Love always perseveres.
It doesn’t matter what kind of gift you buy today if these questions are not answered properly and lived out consistently in your relationship with your valentine. Your gift will be meaningless if not backed up with sincere love. But if you daily live true love as described in today’s Scripture passage, then it will never matter to your valentine what kind of gift you buy, because you will have already given them the greatest gift of all.