Saturday, March 29, 2014

An Attitude of Love

      An attitude of love is what replaces a critical attitude. John 13:35 says, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." That's how the world can identify true Christians by our love for each other. If we want to grow in love, we must stay close to the Lord. Love is who He is. He is the source of love; so we must stay close to the source if we want to grow in love. We love because because He first loved us. Our love for others is a result of His love for us. (1 John 4:11) Agape (unconditional) love puts you before me. It's a choice I make to put others and their interests first. I can only do this if I have the true source of love flowing through me.

     James MacDonald talks about how God's love for us is a perfecting love and because of that love, He is committed to our highest good. His commitment to making us like Jesus (our highest good) stems from His love for us. He loves us too much to leave us weighted down in our sins and struggles.

     In our study, we worked through I Corinthians 13. It describes 15 attributes of love. Love believes all things. Love says I won't judge your motives, but will choose to believe the best. I know I've failed in this area. God has brought to mind specific instances and people that I stopped believing the best I know about them and chose to focus on their faults instead. Love bears all things. Instead of letting love smooth over misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and misspoken words, I held onto those things. Love doesn't keep records of wrongs. I know I've kept record of wrongs done against me. In all of these instances, my love failed because I failed to rely on the strength of God's love and chose instead to focus on myself. In my strength my love will always fail. Thankfully God's love never fails and cannot fail. His love is always perfect. When my love is failing, I need to remember to plug into the source of love, and meditate on the truth found in His Word. The closer we are to Him, the more of His strength we get. That includes the strength to love agape, you before me, love.

"In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
I John 4:10-11 

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