IBS February 21, 2017
1 Corinthians 13: 5 (all of chapter 13, really)
“or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;”
This portion of Scripture really hit me hard…it brought forth such conviction and the reminder that the reality of it is, I am, in myself, an unloving person who has no hope of portraying love or giving love to anyone without the Lord in my life. Praise be to Jesus that He has set me free, and having been filled with the Holy Spirit, I can allow Him to fill me up with more of Him and less of me, so that I truly can love others.
Although this whole chapter should have an IBS, I chose to focus on verse five especially, since that I was feeling most convicted on this morning. Love does not insist on its own way…how often have I definitely insisted on my own way, and not just in my actions, but also, within my heart and my mind as well. How many times have I reluctantly done something for someone, all the while insisting on my own way on the inside? Oh Lord, how I truly need You. Not insisting on its own way is not just referring to me getting my way, but rather it also means that it has nothing to do with self. It contains no selfishness in it; there is no flesh or even thoughts of self within love. It means to truly care for someone and put him/her above my self, and his/her wants higher than my own. It means that when I am truly acting out of love, I will not be thinking about myself, my thoughts will not be self-focused, and my feelings of selfishness or want will not be included in the matter.
Love is NOT irritable…this means that if I am doing something for someone and am calling it an act of love, I will not be irritated with that person while I am doing it. If I truly love someone, my love for them should contain no irritation whatsoever. Oh Lord, how can I ever love someone like this? So unselfishly and against my flesh? Praise be to You Lord, that though while on this earth I will never reach perfection, I can through You, and only by You, love others with true love…love that is genuine and selfless. Love like this, I know, does not come over night, but comes with the continual choice to deny the flesh, pick up my cross daily, and seek the Lord for His fresh filling of Him and His love.
Lastly, but surely not least, love is NOT resentful…that means feelings or expressions of bitterness should not be present in true love, and there should be no feelings anger or annoyance at having been treated unfairly. Having said this, I should just stop right there, for what hope can I have of ever truly loving people with genuine love? Well, the truth is, I can’t…I can’t love them this way; not because there is no desire deep down to do so, but because I am incapable of doing so within my flesh. There is absolutely no way or possibility that I can. At first, this is very depressing, and makes me think,”Well, then why am I even here, doing what I’m doing?” But with peace and reassurance from the Lord, I see that by Him, and only Him, I CAN love. I CAN walk through this life with love in my heart. Because of Christ, I CAN lay down my pride and die to myself for His sake and the sake of HIS kingdom.The more I get my eyes off myself and more on my Savior, Jesus, the more I truly CAN love others with a genuine love…with a love only Jesus can give.
I still have much to work on, and I have definitely NOT reached the top. Yet, I am going to press in and press on in Jesus, holding onto the salvation He has given me, and the lasting hope of eternity with Him one day.