Special Reflection: Love is…

“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NIV Bible

This past couple of weeks I have been reminded of how much Jesus loved us. How He alone showed perfect absolute love no matter the situation that He faced. God’s love as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is the most absolute description to date of God’s perfect love. If you read it completely and then ask yourself where you stack up in your daily life using these standards I am sure you will find that your actions or words to others are no match for this description above.
“23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” ~ Romans 3:23 NIV Bible

However, don’t get to discouraged just yet, no one is perfect as we are all flawed and filled with sin, that is why God’s love is so perfect because it has to be for our Lord to love us so. It is no ascendent that this description begins with love being patient, because how patient is God when dealing with humanity?  How patient has God been in dealing with Satan?

There have been a few people over the years as I have been writing and maintaining this specific website and blog who have not been patient, and have been fast to judge me, to presume they know me, who cannot put down their own personal demons, and sadly who are fast to make inaccurate accusations, and then pretend they can judge this body of work I have published here in. All I can say to this is simply the word “patient” implies long suffering, tolerance, and as described by the Webster Dictionary in English; “1. the quality of being patient,  as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.” God instructs us all to emulate Him and He knows we will fall short so we are also instructed to pray for those who do fall short and pray for those who are not patient or kind.

“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” ~ Galatians 5:22-23 NIV Bible

As an educator in dealing with children with different learning aptitudes the temptation is always there to be short or curt with those who ask the same question over, and over, and over, or those who ask a question to which in the start of the lesson I had already answered. Moreover, in this I will say patients must be connected to kindness so the love can shine through. In this situation each teacher has a coping mechanism and mine is simple, I smile underneath the frustration and remind myself by saying in my mind, “You just gotta love’m.” This always brings me to Jesus who exhibited both patience and kindness to everyone most especially his disciples. How many times did Jesus repeat himself in the bible, how many lessons did He teach to the masses then reenforce to His disciples? How many ways did Jesus repeat His message of love to His disciples? In all the ways we can possibly count in the bible of God’s kindness we can also correlate the idea that love is about genuinely being kind to your fellow man. Again in the Merriam Webster Dictionary in English kindness is described as being, “2a : the quality or state of being kind” It is a mental attitude, a choice, and in some instances a rewarding lifestyle. I also find it interesting that the synonyms are listed as, ” benevolence, boon, courtesy, grace, indulgence, favor, mercy, service, and turn.” I must argue that these are the qualities of a kind heart, and a patient loving soul. Again, God instructs us all to emulate Him and He knows we will fall short so we are also instructed to pray for those who do fall short and pray for those who are not kind.

Love does not envy, boast, and is not proud. I am constantly reminded of how prideful some people are, or how some people envy what others have, still I see these same people boast about their things or accomplishments. This is especially troubling because  any victory achieved without praising God for it is hollow. The words envy, boast, and proud are what the wicked do, this is the description of sin. Biblically speaking Satan fell from heaven because he was first prideful, he envied God, and second Satan boasted about how great he was, for his throne would be above Gods in Heaven. Pride and Envy makes up two of the original seven deadly sins wrote about by Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th century who took this list from Greek monastic theologian Evagrius of Pontus (345-399). The saying, “Pride comes before a fall” is the most modern and clearest reference to the fall of Satan, the fall of one-third of all the angels in heaven, and the fall of mankind as found in Genesis.  I also must warn everyone against being prideful, but the ear marks of a prideful person is found in how much they boast. There can never be love in an envious, prideful, and boastful heart because there is no room left for anything else, not even for God. Once again, God instructs us all to emulate Him and He knows we will fall short so we are also instructed to pray for those who do fall short and pray for those who are envious, boastful, and prideful.

“46 Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 47 devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” ~ Luke 20: 46-47

Love does not, “5 dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” In this I find our sin is shown to all for what it is, dishonorable, selfish, angry, and never forgiving. I have been told by some of my harshest detractors that this description would fit me nicely. But, then again they mistake my enthusiasm that I hold for God and His perfect love for something evil and vial. In this Jesus said to rejoice when others persecute you, so my voice on this subject is I hope very loud and very direct. People who go around blaming others all the time, seeking to destroy the love in their targets hearts, seeking to split families and make children chose between two parents they love is selfish, is dishonorable, is angry, and yes these people never forgive because their hearts have been hardened by Satan and influenced by his lies. I can truthfully testify to the world my walk with God is strengthened with each curse word thrown in my direction and makes me hold tighter to God’s hand and abide more in His perfect love, and this is how your own trials and tribulations should make you feel deep inside your heart of hearts. We are not here to judge others, but rather love one another. You cannot love your fellow man or women if your heart is wracked with selfishness. You cannot love others if everything you do is dishonorable. You cannot love people if your angry all the time. You cannot keep records of other peoples wrongs and be truly forgiving. God does not work that way, life in general does not work that way. I have always said that I enjoy everyone’s comments even if they do not agree with me, because my walk with God is different than your walk with God, and so in this we all must be tolerant with one another and celebrate our vast differences. Once more, God instructs us all to emulate Him and He knows we will fall short so we are also instructed to pray for those who do fall short and pray for those who are dishonorable, selfish, angry, and never forgiving.
“1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” ~ Romans 2:1-4 NIV Bible
“6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” The idea of telling the truth is a sacred obligation every human-being is born with. It is like a program written into your heart that which zaps you every time you lie. These zaps build up over time and leads to a weight so heaven upon your heart that it has been know to cause a plethora of anxieties that can be mortally fatal. One of the best examples of how we as a society have tried to reflect God in our laws is found within the need to make a person swear an oath in court before testifying. Sadly perjury or bearing false witness is not something we are very aggressive in prosecuting. On one hand we appear to be moral, but on the other hand we embrace the sin of testifying falsely as through our reluctance to stop it and punish it, therefore in God’s eyes man’s laws and processes found within our judicial system are nothing short of corrupt and filled with hypocrisy. The best example was in the trial of Jesus Christ, when the High Priest took testimony from people who where known liars.


“55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. 56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. 57 Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.’” 59 Yet even then their testimony did not agree. 60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 63 The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. 64 “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as worthy of death. 65 Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, “Prophesy!” And the guards took him and beat him.” ~ Mark 14: 55-65 NIV Bible
Bearing false witness is a sin as it is breaking the eight commandment of God;  “ 16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” ~ Exodus 20:16 KJ 2000 Bible.
Each and every time I see this happen my heart hurts for those who are perpetrating this sin, moreover,  my heart hurts for those who also instigate it from the innocent. For the Lord Jesus Christ also warned;
“Obstacles to faith are sure to arise, but beware to the one who creates them. It would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around the neck than for that person to mislead one of my followers.” Q 76, The Lost Gospel Q.  


Again pray, God instructs us all to emulate Him and He knows we will fall short so we are also instructed to pray for those who do fall short and pray for those who revel in their sin, who delight in evil, and for those who rebuke the truth.
God’s agape Love; “7 always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” The placement of this verse is essential to bring home the true nature of God, His love, and the same message of Jesus. The seventh verse, in numerology is sacred, for the number seven is revered as being holy. The nature of God is a protecting one, it is God’s first line of defense in defending you against evil. God then builds trust within your heart, and your protective actions should also build trust in those you love and protect. God is filled with hope, evidence of this is that two thousand years after His son’s death and resurrection man-kind is still here, God still loves us, and He through His perfect love fills our hearts with hope. Thus, when you protect the ones you love, your trust in them spawns their trust in you. Hope is then poured to form the strongest foundation to all your relationships, again anchoring them upon God’s grace that naturally perseveres and blesses you and all those whom you love unconditionally. Love is patient, love is kind, love rejoices with the truth, love always protects, love always trusts, love always hopes, and love always perseveres, for this is what love is. Finally, God instructs us all to emulate Him and He knows we will fall short so we are also instructed to pray for those who do fall short and pray for those who try their very best to be protecting, trusting, hopeful, and always preserving with their love.

Amen

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Brian Keith, Founder of Listening Faithfully Blog

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In the spirit of charity and from the necessity to provide  for all of Gods children, together in this mission,  Listening Faithfully has teamed up with a wonderful charitable organization in East Texas whose name reflects their good works, “God’s Hand Ups” and their work  is accomplished by a Godly motivation to help every children throughout their community. I am honored to have them as good friends in the Lord.  I can testify before you all today, that my good friend who is a founding member of this charitable group  has truly been tested in the manner described here in this blog posting and who has consistently passed this test of giving and working for the benefit of all in her community. I introduce you all to Tonia Allen, who currently has a wonderful new campaign in raising money for children in need. Please visit her donation site:  “GOD’S HAND UPS NOT HAND OUTS ”  and please be very charitable.

Someone once told me that compassion was not simple. They believed compassion was huge. Compassion is SO simple as it is an act of kindness from one to another. It is only huge when it becomes over thought. God’s Hand Ups was founded by the vision of a 17 year old junior in high school who believed the world could be saved–“one person at a time.” ~ Tonia Allen, Gods Hands Up, 2013. 

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