Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

23 Love is Part 8

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1 Corinthians 13:6 “Love rejoices whenever the truth wins out.”

Paul has been contrasting love by teaching what it is not, he now flips the coin and returns to the positive side of love and gives the last five qualities. These qualities also reveal what love brings to those who love, for God’s love is the fountain from which goodness flows.

  • Love Rejoices

It’s easy to focus on what love does not rejoice in but love is not about the don’ts and the inactivity of not doing, love is about what it actively must do. Love is not simply a feeling, or an abstraction, love is active not passive and love is only love when it acts. 1 John 3:18 says “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions” The truth is that love is defined by the get to and we should do all the good we can, to all the people we can, for as long as we can. In Luke 18:11-13 the Pharisee stood and prayed: “God, I thank you that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess. And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner!” What a contrast of responses. It’s easy to rejoice in what we don’t do and how much better we are than others who do what we don’t. When we head down this path our rejoicing becomes centered around our supposed success while using the sin of others as a backdrop to reflect our morality, but that is nothing more than patting our back with pride. Love is saddened by sin but not surprised by it for love is not blind but has 20/20 vision seeing sin for what it is. Jesus saw through the outward disguises to the inner being, He knew the evil in the world as only the sinless One could know it. Paul also was not blind to the grave sins and weaknesses of the Corinthian Christians. Love does not rejoice in sin but it does not reject the sinner, which is selfishness, which always turns its face away from sorrows, shames, and the failures of others. Love does not turn away from the lonely and broken lives that sin creates. Christian love is not content to denounce wrong, it seeks to save men from it and faces the facts with the confidence that God is able to both deal with sin and heal sin.

Love is the energy of life and Paul reveals loves real outcome, all 15 colors and hues of the spectrum of love reveal verbs. It is the act of loving that makes a person better than they are, for love enlarges the boarders of our heart, it deepens us and fills us to overflowing. It is by loving that we come nearer to God and our soul is knit together with His Son. When we refuse to love we shrivel inwardly, our hearts decay and die. Paul says that love actively rejoices in the truth, what do we delight in, is it truth? Psalm 119:35 says “Make me walk in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.” Verse 77 says “For your law is my delight” and verse 174 says “I long for your salvation, O Lord, and Your Law is my delight.” Love rejoices with truth as opposed to rejoicing with thoughts, words, or actions that are not right or unrighteous according to God. Unrighteousness justifies sinful actions, words, and attitudes where Love concerns itself with truth not selfish opinions. Love does not look for tidbits of untruth to pass on and refuses to float along with gossip. We are to rejoice only with the truth and we may say that we refuse to participate in evil yet we seem to enjoy watching it or find ourselves hoping others fall into it. Rejoicing in anyone’s sin is wrong. Do you become glad at learning of another’s calamity, failure or faults, or at the exposing of the weaknesses of others? That is not love for love covers a multitude of sin (1 Pet. 4:8) love does not spread gossip and those that love will be offended at the sharing of gossip. The mind that seeks after God, the source of eternal love, rejoices with learning of and comprehending His truth. Those that love are those who search for God’s truth and make His truth their source of rejoicing, good doctrine is right thinking about God, ourselves and others. Right thinking, in turn allows us to love one another in truth, with what is real, rather than in a setting of self-deception.

Love does not focus on the wrongs of others or parade their faults for the entire world to see. Love is also not ignorant, it knows the truth but loves in spite of what it sees and can endure the worst because it has its roots in the best. Love knows that people are full of sin and are prone to sin, but love still loves in spite of. It does not disregard falsehood and unrighteousness, but as much as possible it focuses on the true and the right. Love looks for the good, hopes for the good, and emphasizes the good, so love rejoices with those who teach the truth and live the truth. What does love look like, it looks like Jonathan, the prince of friends. He was the son of the king and the heir to the throne when the truth that David would be king was revealed. How did he respond to the truth, when confronted with the truth of David’s courage and success when faced with the reality of David’s magnetism and heroism? How would we respond? A small man would have been insanely jealous but Jonathan was a rare soul, he cast all ambition out of his heart, and his soul was linked to David’s. 1 Samuel says that Jonathon loved David; for he loved him as he loved his own soul. 1 Samuel 23 says “Then Jonathon, Saul’s son, arose and went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God. And he said to him, Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that. So the two of them made a covenant before the Lord.” What would our response have been to David’s troubles? Their friendship lights up the pages of a warlike and corrupt time, it became a golden thread that runs through all the later years of the story of Saul’s reign. Great friendships can grow up only between large and generous natures that are controlled by love. Jonathan understood that sacrificial love rejoices in truth how about us? Will you letting love rejoice through you today or will you get in the way?

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