We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Hanna Winslow.

 

Bible Reading:

1 Corinthians 13:7

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Word:

Love is a choice with many associated characteristics. 1 Corinthians 13:7 shows a side of love that many of us hope we never have to extend. Bearing all things and enduring all things are especially uncomfortable action phrases in the context of relationships.

We often become drained and resentful when love requires endurance, and for us to bear anything, let alone all things. Think about the nature of God’s love for humanity as seen throughout the Bible. From the Old Testament all the way through the New, we see a God who has born our failures and endured through seemingly endless cycles of rebellion. He did this not because of who we are, but because of who He is.

He has shown us what it means to actually be love by choosing us and seeing past our broken nature into the potential restoration that we can have with him. Christ was willing to bear our sins on a cross, and the Father is willing to endure the process of sanctification for the resulting spiritual maturity and Christlikeness that he intends for us. Imagine the results if we loved ourselves and those around us in this way!

We are being invited in 1 Corinthians 13:7 to practice love as God does- a love that promotes spiritual healing and restoration. There are people all around us who are spiritually starving to death for the gospel that Jesus offers. He has chosen his followers as the mechanism to meet them where they are-just like he did when he was physically here with us. We really need to start cultivating Christ’s character in our own lives through the power of the Holy Spirit so we can be the tools that he has recruited us to be.

 

Prayer:

God, it is so hard for us to love each other in the way that you love us-bearing burdens, believing the best, hoping for the future, and enduring hardship. The only way to love each other well is to understand how well you have loved us. When we read your word, we see how you have related to humanity by bearing, believing, hoping, and enduring. You did this not because we inspired your faith in us-humanity has always been a miserable failure in measuring up to you-instead, you have loved us well because of who you are. You are love to us, God, and we ask you for the grace to cultivate and extend that same love to each other. Thank you for promising to make us more like you through the trials we endure in life. You are faithful to complete the work that you have started in your children. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

 

Skillwork:

Really evaluate your love for the people in your life God has entrusted you with. Just think about family members and close friends; do you love them in the way that God loves humanity? If not, acknowledge where your grace for others falls shorter than Gods does for you, and pray for the necessary change at the heart level.

 

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