march 26th - real love
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. 1 Cor 13:4-8 (NKJV)
Trust me--I still remember the first time I kissed Jody. My blood pressure soared and there was a strong emotional feeling of euphoria...goodness, I thought my lips were going to melt right off my face! What I felt was what we call infatuation. It was a good feeling, but not real love. Love came later...probably kicked in about the same time infatuation ran out.
The Apostle Paul describes real love in 1 Corinthians, the 13th chapter. The "love" that Paul describes seems to have more in common with integrity than it does with emotions. Let me point out the difference. If we follow our emotions we will always do what we "feel" like doing. If we allow integrity to guide us, we will do what we believe to be right and good. According to Paul, "real love" is expressed as a high level of personal integrity, to the point that love never fails.
Now contrast the "real love" that never fails to my young man's "infatuation" that lasted a mere few weeks. The shelf-life of my infatuation was very short, but God's love never
fails. We are secure in God's love, because, unlike humanity, God is not fickle. He loved us enough to send Jesus. He loved us enough to save us. He loves us enough to live in us. And, He will love us when we go to live with Him in eternity. We are secure in God's love!
Author’s Note: Years ago Hal David and Burt Bacharach wrote a song, that was recorded by several different artists called, “What the World Needs Now.” So, what does the world need now—at least according to the lyric of the song? “Love, sweet love. Not just for some, but, for everyone.” It’s true—but the “kind” of love that this world needs is called Agape. (Agape = God’s Love) We cannot settle for the watered-down, cheap, tarnished, temporary emotion that the world pawns off as love—we need the real thing! RJD