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You have probably heard them at more than one wedding. The verses of 1 Corinthians 13. The “Love Is” chapter.
Can you recite parts without even practicing?
I knew it!
1 Corinthians 13:4-7: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
When verses are very familiar, I like to read them in a different version of the Bible to get a fresh perspective.
And fresh perspective is exactly what I got when I read these verses in the Amplified Bible. Allow me to highlight a few words that got my attention:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (Amplified Bible): Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
How’s that for a fresh perspective? I wasn’t kidding! Let’s discuss it.
Instead of zooming over “Love is patient,” I had to stop and think about: “Love endures with patience and serenity.” Funny, I’ve never thought about putting those two words together before – patience and serenity – but wow, what a word picture!
2. Overly sensitive
Hmmm. Another paradigm shift that I found thought-provoking: “Love is not provoked (nor overly sensitive and easily angered).” Ponder that a while.
3. Regardless of what comes
Instead of plain old “Love bears all things,” it’s made crystal clear: “Love bears all things (regardless of what comes).”
4. Without weakening
“Endures all things” is one thing, but “Endures all things (without weakening)” is a whole other level. A supernatural one.
Which brings me to the One who shows us how to love this way.
Jesus is our example. I have heard it said that you can substitute “Jesus” for the word “love” in 1 Corinthians 13 and it will still read true.
With Easter coming this Sunday, we’ll reflect on the ultimate love He showed.
Romans 5:8: But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
He endured the cross. Just for me.
Just for you.
What if you had to go to the cross for someone? Can you imagine?
Love endures all things.
“Love does not ask to have an easy life of it: self-love makes that her aim. Love denies herself, sacrifices herself, that she may win victories for God, and hers shall be no tinsel crown.” ~Charles Spurgeon
Let’s be realistic.
Can we possibly get close to having this kind of love?
1 John 4:16: So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
Romans 5:5: And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
He will pour it into us!
We can’t love that way on our own. We have to abide in Him.
Thank You Jesus for showing us ultimate love.
1 John 4:19: We love because he first loved us.
G. Campbell Morgan wrote that examining 1 Corinthians 13 is like dissecting a flower to understand it. If you tear it apart too much, you lose the beauty.
In that case, I’ve already said too much. But I’d like to hear your thoughts over on instagram!
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I am linking this post with Arabah Joy’s Grace and Truth link and Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart link.