Stand Up For Love

January 23, 2017

“Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:8

With so much talk of strife and dissension in the news—fueled by uncertainty and fear—we must not lose sight of Whose Kingdom we live in!

As the culture around us seems to be in upheaval, let’s remember the basic tenets of the culture we have been called into—a culture defined by peace:

“My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
John 14:27

A Kingdom characterized by righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

A Kingdom of light fueled by unfailing love.

We His people, “who live in the light” (Col. 1:12), are called to be bearers of that light (see Matt. 5:14), makers of peace (see Matt. 5:9), and vessels of honor (2 Tim. 2:21).

“For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son.”
Colossians 1:12-13

Let’s not underestimate the power of God’s love to change the culture we have been seeded into.

It was love that motivated the greatest history makers—from Mahatma Gandhi to Mother Theresa to Nelson Mandela to Martin Luther King to the King of all kings, Jesus Christ.

Take a stand for love.

No matter what friction might be swirling around you in your workplace or in your community or in the media, remember…

“You are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”
1 Peter 2:9 NLT

I just want to encourage you today that God has you right where you are, right at this time in history, for a tremendous purpose—to point others towards His goodness, grace, mercy, and love.

The world needs one thing and one thing only: God’s love.

In fact, without love, all wisdom and knowledge and faith and good works amount to absolutely nothing! (See 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.)

Yes, speak the truth—speak light—but speak it in love! (See Ephesians 4:15.)

Because sometimes we need to be reminded about the importance of love, Paul made it abundantly clear in a letter he wrote to the church at Corinth:

“If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”
 1 Corinthians 13:1 MSG

And then, just to make sure he didn’t leave any loose ends, he gave specific instructions for how to walk it out: 

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7 MSG)

Do you see how counter-cultural this love walk is?—And to what degree the Kingdom of God clashes with the kingdoms of this world?

When those around us are taking their battles to the streets and news channels and social media, we should be taking a stand for love. 

We should be interceding in prayer motivated by love. 

We should be worshiping the Source of all love—showing forth His praises by demonstrating His love.

“Right now…we have three things to do: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13 MSG

Let me ask you: How are you standing for love in today’s culture?

And then let me remind you: “Love never fails!” (1 Cor. 13:8).

 

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