“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” -Colossians 3:12-14
In his book, “Love Works” Joel Manby says “Unfortunately, the English language only has one word for love, and it is very complicated. Love can be an emotion, but we can’t forget that love is a verb. It is an unconditional love. It is a behavior and has nothing to do with how you feel about people.”
People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway! Love works!
People cannot be trusted because they have ulterior motives. Love them anyway! Love works!
People are judgmental and near-sighted. Love them anyway. Love works!
People are always out for number one – they don’t care about you. Love them anyway! Love works!
People will be your friends if there’s something in it for them. Love them anyway! Love works!
People will turn against you when the going gets tough. Love them anyway! Love works!
People never appreciate the things you do for them. Love them anyway! Love works!
“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” -Colossians 3:12-14 (The Message)
From the Scripture above, take each highlighted word that describe “love” and think about what it means to love like this.
A Father’s Love
In 1987, a man took his 22 year old daughter to a parade in town in Northern Ireland. As the father and daughter stood beside a brick wall waiting for the parade to march in front of them, a terrorist bomb exploded behind them, instantly killing several people and leaving two of them crushed under a pile of bricks. Unable to move, the father soon felt his daughter take hold of his hand.
Dad heard these words from his daughter, “Daddy, I love you very much.” Those were the last words dad heard from his daughter. She ended up dying from the injuries she sustained in that bombing.
When a reporter asked the man what he felt toward the people who killed his daughter, he said, “Bitter talk is not going to bring my daughter back to life. I forgive them. And I pray that they will one day ask God to forgive them as well. My daughter’s last words were ‘Daddy, I love you very much.’ Her last words were words of love. Now, I want to love others and my daughter loved.”
– When you forgive a person, this does not mean you are immediately healed.
· When you forgive a person, this does not mean you are going to be buddy/buddy.
· When you forgive a person, this does not mean that you trust them, yet.
· When you forgive a person, you are not avoiding pain, you are opening the door to healing.
Has there been someone in your life who was hard to forgive?
Forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right, it makes you free.
“So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. 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.” -1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (The Message)
“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” -I Corinthians 13:7, 8 (NIV)
LOVE . . .
1) Protects without abandoning
Protect/Preserves – (Gk) STAGO – cover, conceal under the Lord’s protection.
A true love has stick-a-tuity. The Greek word for protects is STAGO and it is a picture of bringing an individual or a situation under the prayer covering of the Lord. A Prayer Shawl (TALLIT) is a covering.
So when the Bible says that love protects, what it is saying is that a God kind of love doesn’t walk away when someone is struggling, it is bringing that individual under the covering of the Lord. It is a picture of intercession.
2) Trusts/Believes without being negative
Trusts – (Gk) PISTEUO – believe; affirm; have confidence
One of the easiest ways you can love people is to do what this Greek word means – to affirm – to SPEAK WORDS OF LIFE! You can have a Ministry of Encouragement. Dr. Gary Chapman calls this a love language called “Words of Affirmation,” and it means the world to so many people.
A word of encouragement from a parent to a child can change his life. A word of encouragement from a wife to her husband can change their marriage. A word of encouragement from one Christian to another can change their course of life. Don’t be negative.
3) Hopes without wavering
Hopes (Gk) ELPIZO – actively waiting for God’s fulfillment
How is there a correlation between love and hope?
4) Perseveres/Endures without complaining
Perseveres (Gk) HUPOMENO – endurance; remaining under the load
Love always hangs in there. Doesn’t give up. That’s the kind of love God has for you. He has never given up on you.
5) Never fails.
Never fails (Gk) PIPTO – never falls. It works.
What does it look like If you were to make “Loving God and Loving People” a priority in your life?