Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Love is... kind

“Love is . . . kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4)

When thinking of kindness I recall my brother when he was a little tow-headed boy of four or five. On Sundays he would stand by the front doors of the church and hold the door open for the women entering. Even at that young age he understood that an act of kindness could brighten someone’s day. I’m sure his small act of kindness blessed more than one person.
Simple acts of kindness are a great way of showing God’s love. God has shown “unfailing kindness” to each of us (Psalm 18:15). He loves us despite our failings, and forgives us time and again. Today, take a moment to consider how God has been kind and generous to you, and then turn around and share that generosity with someone else. This act of kindness could be as simple as opening a door, paying for someone else’s lunch, or sending an encouragement card in the mail, but it’s one more way to express God’s love and “unfailing” kindness to each of us.

Prayer: Lord, help me to show kindness to someone today in an unexpected way. Reveal your love through me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Love is...patient

In 1 Corinthians 13:4 the Apostle Paul tells us that love is “patient.”

I have something to admit here: I am a horribly impatient person. I keep a rigid schedule in life, and hate it when people make me late. Whether it’s church, a movie, or dinner out with friends, I don’t like waiting on people who are perpetually late. At times, I don’t act all that graciously because of this. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” God, the definitive example of Love, has been waiting on human beings for centuries. As stubborn and slow as we have been, he exhibits the greatest patience of all. He loves us so much that he is willing to wait for each of us to turn from our selfish ways and claim salvation in Jesus Christ.

If God is this loving, shouldn’t we all show a bit more patience in our every day lives?

Prayer: Lord, help me to suppress my restlessness and respond with love when I am confronted with delays in life.

Love is...

What does real love look like? On my wedding day I promised to love and stand by my husband no matter what happens in life. Our vows were a paraphrased version of 1 Corinthians 13, in which we promised to be patient, kind, and to withhold envy or boasting as we work to love each other the way God intended. I meant the things I promised to my husband on our wedding day, but I have since thought that it would be helpful to study these verses from 1 Corinthians 13 in greater detail. And so a devotional series on the Love Chapter was born.

So grab your favorite cup of coffee, I recommend a vanilla latte, and take a trip with me to 1 Corinthians 13. As, always, my prayer is that you will draw closer to God through these devotionals.

Blessings my friends

Monday, February 9, 2009

God delights in you

I found a great word of encouragement the other day, in the most unexpected place. I was reading in the Old Testament book of Zephaniah about God’s wrath and judgment on the world. In the third chapter of this rather depressing book, I stumbled across some amazing words of blessing. In chapter 3, the prophet Zephaniah tells the Israelite people that, even when the rest of the world faces ruin, “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with signing.” (Zephaniah 3:17). What words of promise! If you have ever doubted yourself or your ability, take heart that the Lord is mighty in power and in majesty. He is there to rescue you from whatever battles you face, and to remind you of how much he loves you. In fact, he loves you so much that he “rejoice[s] over you with singing.” You are a work of art, created precisely the way God wanted you to be (See Psalm 139). So greet the world with confidence today, for you are fearfully and wonderfully made!

Lord, thank you for this reminder that you rejoice over me, just the way I am. Help me to live every moment for you.