(Commentary on 1st Corinthians 13)
What People Want and Need From us, Deep Down, More Than Anything, is Love
When studying 1 Corinthians 13 for the umpteenth time, I began seeing things from the perspective of the other person. at people want and need from us, deep down, more than anything, is love. I think that's one of the points we can draw from 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.
1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. NIV
Faith does great things: It moves mountains and takes courageous leaps, it does what most never venture to do. Hope helps people start again and keeps people going. But love is even greater than those. Love makes great sacrifices. Love can see the need and care enough to do something about it. Love is what draws people to the Lord Jesus Christ. And Jesus is who they need most of all. When they see, and feel, and hear God's love, through us, they lift up their head, they dry their tears, they start thinking about what they're doing and how they're living, they become interested in what we have to say. Then we have a chance to share with them the truth of the gospel.
Love needs to be the how and the why of all these great things Christians do. Love is what makes them count, and makes them effective. Love seeps into the most resistant person's heart, down to their core, and melts their stubborn, "impenatrable wall" of years of hurts and deception. Love changes lives. Love helps others see that there really is a God who cares about them (the one who made them and sent his Son, Jesus, to die for their sins).
Let's go through the "Love Chapter" together, as how it might be seen from the other's perspective - why they need and want it from us.
We all want others to be patient with us. People sometimes have hangups, illness, bad habits, bad personality traits, sins that won't seem to go away, addictions. They need us to be patient enough to explain the truth of the gospel to them if they haven't heard it, or if they've been taught a different “gospel”. They need our patience no matter where they are along their spiritual journey (whether steeped in truth or deception) to allow God time to work in their lives and hearts. Change isn't always quick.
As we see in Romans 2:4, love, patience and kindness of God leads people to repentance. People can feel God's love and patience through our forbearing actions.
Romans 2:4 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?
More verses about God's patience towards us, and in turn how we are to show it to others:
2 Peter 3:9 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. NIV
Joel 2:12 "Even now," declares the Lord, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning." 13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. NIV
Patience can also carry with it the meaning of longsuffering or steadfastness under trials, adversity and persecution. Learn more about how love bears up under trials and persecution.
When people have obvious needs: safety, housing, food, water or clothing, etc., sharing with them when they can't make ends meet, is how they'll feel love. Those things usually take priority for them in that moment. How can they pay attention to your message when their stomach is growling or they're wondering how they will keep a roof over the kids' heads?
James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. NIV
People also have emotional needs: They want us to be kind when speaking them. They want us to pay attention to them, give them encouragement and support, sing their praises, lend them a hand, help them in any way we can to succeed. They want to be included, accepted no matter how different they are, how different their ideologies are, or what the color of their skin is, or what's in their past, or who they're friends with.
No one likes to be mocked, shamed, excluded, ignored, overlooked, invalidated, abandoned, discriminated against if they're one of the seemingly less beautiful, smart, young, healthy, talented, fit, or if they're somehow "different".
And deep down, if people understood things from God's view, they would also want “tough” love, and to be given boundaries. They really want what will help them the most, not what they think they want short-term, that will do them more harm in the long-run.
James reminds us that: James 4:17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them. NIV
More verses about kindness:
Proverbs 11:16-17 A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth. 17 Those who are kind benefit themselves,
but the cruel bring ruin on themselves. NIV
Romans 12:13 Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
Verse about how we can comfort others as God comforts us: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5.
Love Doesn't Envy
It hurts when we're envious of people, what they've accomplished, personality traits they have, or possessions they have. Envy doesn't feel good for us or them. They want us to be truly happy for them when they're successful, beautiful or thin. They want us to be glad if they have a great, exciting job, make gobs of money, have a mansion, genius kids, expensive toys, or go on exotic vacations every quarter. They want us to be if they get a huge promotion and raise, even if we make minimum wage. They want us to be happy for them when they have the status and friends that everyone would like, or even if they seem to be a great spiritual giant. The envied one doesn't want to be hated or shuned for the blessing that God saw fit to give them. Nor do they want us to try to minimize or destroy the blessing, or compete with them. They would rather that we seek their advice so we could have the same thing, or ask that God would help them use their ability or blessing to his glory. Envy destroys relationships, and it separates. For the envied one, it can feel lonely. It can even destroy people themselves. Read about it in Genesis 4:1-16 in the account of Cain and Able.
If you struggle with envy, admit it, seek forgiveness, acknowledge God's goodness in giving you the gifts he has given you. Have a thankful attitude and remember that God knows how best to distribute gifts. Begin using and growing the gifts God has given you.
More verses about envy:
Proverbs 27:4 4Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming,
but who can stand before jealousy? NIV
Love Doesn't Boast
When we sing our own praises, or boast about our success, beauty, body, job, money, big house, beautiful kids, toys or vacations, or all the good we've done, it can contribute to making others envious. People don't usually want to know the size of the fish we caught, or how many girl scout cookies we sold, or how many trophies we've won. They don't want to be one-upped. They don't even want to know how many converts we "made". (Isn't God the one who drew the person to himself, and we were just the servant, among many servants in the convert's life, anyway?)
Bible verses about boasting:
Our only boasting should be about God and his kindness and righteousness. This is what we are to delight in. Jeremiah 9:23-24
Any good thing we have is from God, so why do we boast?
Love is Humble, not Proud
Pride hurts. We all know what its like to be insulted, made to feel inferior, excluded, unaccepted, treated less special, less important, shut out or discriminated against.
Pride takes many forms. Here are some different flavors: (My definitions):
Arrogance and Haughtiness: Being unfriendly or insulting because you believe that you're somehow better, smarter or more important than others. A feeling of superiority. Arrogance or haughtiness says "I'm better than you" (in some way).
Egotistism: Conceited or absorbed in yourself; Self-centered. Egotism says, "I'm great. Look at me!" and hogs attention and honor.
Narcisissism: Being so interested in yourself, your appearance or your life, that you don't listen to, or care much about others; excessive preoccupation with yourself; an inflated sense of self-importance; seeking admiration and lacking empathy. Narcissism says, "Its all about me, and my family, and my concerns"
Conceit - Belief that you're more incredible or wonderful than you are; Believing that your goodness is because of something you've done. Conceit says, "I deserve it!".
Cockiness: Being overly self-confident or self-assured in an impudent way. Cockiness says, "I can do anything because I'm great!"
Snobbishness: Being condescending to others for any reason, because of social status, spiritual status, age, etc. Snobbishness says, "I don't accept you like you are. You don't rate high enough. I won't let you in my group."
Pompousness: Showing off what you believe to be your great strengths, qualities or accomplishments. Pompousness says, "See how great I am. Look at all I've done!"
Condescension: The act of looking down on others because you believe they are inferior and not worth as much as you.
Elitism: Belief that you deserve favor because of belonging to a group that you believe to be superior in intelligence, faith, social standing, genetics, wealth, etc.
Some behaviors that can come from pride: Lording it over people, judging others, bullying, apathy, presumption, stubbornness, ruthlessness, irresponsibilty, smugness, condescension, indifference, pettiness, laziness, disdain, apathy, pigheadedness, impudence, greed, insensitivity, meanness, selfishness, cowardice, callousness, insolence, audacity, rudeness, dominating behaviors.
Pride tries hinders others from coming to Jesus. Remember the account of when Jesus clued the disciples in about their pride when they tried to keep the little children from running to Jesus? Read about Jesus and the little children in Matthew 19:13-15
13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. 14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. NIV
Jesus cares about that one who is homeless, addicted, sick, shamed, weak, poor, mentally unstable, just as much as those who are well and clean and rich. In fact, he takes special note of them and has special compassion on them, as we are reminded in his sermon called the beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-10.
We're warned not to show special favor to those who we feel are more acceptable in James.
James tells us what we can do to deal with pride in ourselves:
James 4:6-10 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:"God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble." 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. NIV
Pride hurts. It hurts when you're puffed up about where you came from, who you are, where you've been or what you've done, what kind of car you drive, who you're married to. It hurts when you think you're better or smarter or more righteous or spiritual. Being humble enough to say "I'm sorry" when we sin, ask for forgiveness and seek to make it right goes a long way towards healing the hurt.
In our pride we sometimes blame, or don't admit to our part in the problem, or judge, or accuse. When we judge we are in the wrong. We don't know the motivations or reasons for the action. When we are humble and acknowledge our own weaknesses, we have compassion for someone else's weakness, and we refrain from passing judgment. God is the only one who can see into the heart.
We see humility beautifully in John the Baptist in John 3:22-30. When John's disciples noticed that many people were running off to be baptized by Jesus instead of John (verse 26). But John had accepted this. He accepted the purpose God had given him (verse 27). He had told them that he was not the Messiah, only a servant (a friend of the bridegroom who attends the bridegroom, waits for him and listens for him - verse 29). He wanted to become less, and wanted to give Jesus the honor. He seemed glad to know people were running off to meet Jesus, and to know that he was doing what God had sent him to do. (verse 27, 29c).
The verse that I think best shows his attitude of humility is: John 3:30 He must become greater; I must become less."NIV Read the whole story here: John 3:22-36.
He acknowledged that Jesus is above all and then went on to explain how the one who accepts Jesus' words as the truth of God and believes in him, has eternal life (verses 33-36):
John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on them. NIV
More verses about pride:
1 Corinthians 10:12 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! NIV
Romans 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. NIV
About spiritual pride: Matthew 6:1-8, 14-18
Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. NIV
Romans 14:1 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. NIV
Romans 14:10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. NIV
Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom. NIV
Love Honors Others, doesn't Dishonor Them
All people want to be treated with respect and honor, putting them in the best light, sing their praises, encourage their efforts. Never dishonor, put them down, ignore, belittle, minimize, invalidate. They want us to treat them like a VIP, always, no matter what their position or station in life. They want us to NOT mock them, look down on them. No one likes it when you interrupt, get loud, say something hurtful or rude; when you embarras them, harrass them, or joke with “in fun”. Sarcasism hurts because it says that we're dumb. No one likes to be called named or labeled, or put into a generalized group and judged. They're a special individual, not just one of a certain type. They want to be accepted for who they are, and treated special.
No one likes attention drawn to their weakness, their poverty or less-than-great things about them. Why not instead bring out the beauty you see, commend them for what they do right or encourage their gifts?
More verses about honoring others:
Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Love is Other-Centered, not Selfish, Greedy or Self-Centered
(The Selfishness theme is still in the works)
Sharing -- its something we begin learning about when we're two or three years old. Selfishness is so easy to pinpoint when we see it in little kids, but not so easy to spot in ourselves? Some of us are good at sharing our money and possessions, but not so good at sharing praise and power. Others are fine to share their land or house or possessions, yet stingy with their money. Some give a lot, but borrow and don't repay. We all have areas in our lives that are difficult for us to share. See if you can see your weakness in any of the following:
Being Selfish With Your Talent
Some are selfish with their talent and gifts, not feeling comfortable being in the limelight, not wanting to risk being criticized. Or maybe they're afraid that they might lose friends or family members if they're "successful" in the world's eyes, so they hide their talent, never using what God gave them to bless the world.
What if, instead, we forget about ourselves, and put our hand in Jesus' hand, and depend on his strength to carry us through? Maybe we could "walk on water" too, for love's sake. Read about Peter's couple steps when he walked on water, if only for a second, in Matthew 14:22-33. Are people's words so important anyways? Wouldn't we rather hear Jesus' words on the last day, "Well done, good and faithful servant"? Love takes steps of faith. Love risks. Read about the parable of the bags of gold in Matthw 25:14-30.
Being Selfish with Your Position
Sometimes God puts us in a certain position to use in his great plan. Sometimes we're tested to see if we would risk our position in order to do the right thing. Sometimes one small decision can cause horrible catastrophes, or prevent great hardship for others.
A couple of Bible characters come to mind. Remember how Esther risked her life to save the Jews? It's an inspiring story of selfless love. God used Mordecai to encourage her, but she came through with flying colors! It's even more remarkable when we realize Esther was an orphan and so had reason to feel sorry for herself. She used her beauty and position to selflessly show her love for the Jewish people. Read about it in Esther 1-10.
Also Joseph used his gift of interpreting dreams and his position as governor to save the people of Egypt and all the surrounding areas by wisely storing up grain for the coming years of scarcity. We hear lots of talk today of preppers storing up for the coming calamities, but how many are also storing up for the needs of others? Not everyone is in a position to do this. Read Joseph's inspiring story in Genesis 41.
But the one who seeks the will of God is generous with their words, time, money and theirself. They think about how their decisions affect others: spiritually, emotionally, financially. They're looking foward to when they see Jesus on the Last Day, and not living for the moment.
Selfless love is very noticeable. I don't know about you, but it just makes my day when someone offers for me to go first, have first choice, get the biggest piece, get the best parking spot or the best seat. And think about how good it feels for someone to include you in decision-making, or give you credit for what you contribute, or for your ideas, or when they lend you a hand with something no one wants to do. And what a shocker if we were to see someone give something very valuable unexpectedly, with no agenda.
On the other hand, think of how if feels when someone close to you witholds something, doesn't share their windfall, or neglects your very obvious need when they have the means to meet it. Ouch! But we can be comforted to know that Jesus feels our pain. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 25:44-45?
Forms of Selfishness:
Greed: Selfish With Regards to Possessions or Money
We can be selfish or greedy with our money or possessions, which is how most people think of selfishness. Read about Abigail and Nabal in 1 Samuel 25:1-44. It's a great bible account with a surprise ending.
What about the employer who doesn't pay just wages?
Selfish With Our Words
But about when we are selfish with our words, when we don't give attention or deserved praise that someone is due? How about when we are ungrateful or forget to thank someone for their selflessness or good deeds?
What about being selfish with our words for Jesus? Read about it in Luke 12:
Luke 12:8-12 "I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. 9 But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11"When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say." NIV
Neglecting the Needy
Can't we also be selfish with our free time: conveniently "forgetting" to minister to another's needs and instead go on our third "needed" family vacation?
What Jesus has to say about neglecting the needy and suffering:
1 John 3:17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. NIV
Read about three selfish men and the one selfless one in the parable Jesus told of The Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37.
Read about how love meets needs: James 2:15-16.
What about when we trample others to get ahead at work? What about when we lie to gain a good reputation, a sale, or points with our boss? In Bible times, Haman was a lot like that. Read the Biblical account here: Esther 3-7.
Living To Ourselves
What about our goals? Are we seeking God's will for our life, or seeking our will, to make a great name for ourselves, or to acquire a "secure" future? Are we seeking riches or God's wisdom? In the Bible, when we selfishly seek only our own success, pleasure or treasure, its called "living to ourselves."
Here are some examples in the Bible:
The true intents of our hearts will be known in the end: Read Jesus' warnings in Luke 12:"Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. NIV
Greedy for Power or Position: Competitiveness, Building or Getting Ahead With Disregard for the Rights of Others; Seeking Unjust Gain
People seeking to make a name for themselves: Genesis 11:1-9 Tower of Babel
A mother wanting her sons to make a great name for the family: Matthew 20:20-28. Jesus tells us the antidote to that: selfless love.
The Lord tells us about what he thinks of those who live to please him instead of themselves in Isaiah 56:3-8
Serving for Recognition, Reward instead of Just Serving God out of Love / Seeking a Name for Ourselves
More Bible verses that show us examples of selfishness:
Storing up treasures parable
We see multiple examples of selflessness when people gave of their time to serve and bless others:
Paul constantly did with less and worked harder for the cause of Christ, and he was glad to live that way. He thought nothing of it He was compelled by love.
We see awesome examples of selflessness in the form of generosity when people gave what little money they had to meet the needs of others:
The woman who gave two mites
We see how Abraham showed Lot selflessness in Genesis 13:10-11 when he offered Lot the best land to settle his families in. Lot chose the best for himself, but later it didn't turn out so well.
Of course we see Jesus as the greatest servant of all by the way he lived his life, and by the way he exemplified true love and selflessness when he suffered and died for our sins.
Verses that show us how to deal with our own selfish nature:
Think of him who gives so much.
What does it matter to gain the whole world and lose your own soul?
Well done, good and faithful servant.
1 Corinthians 10:24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. NIV
1 Corinthians 10:24
2 Corinthians 5:15
2 Timothy 3:2
Love Doesn't Get Angry Easily
Everyone wants us to overlook the small mistakes, like when they're rude, talk too much, get loud, or say something hurtful. It doesn't feel good when you to fly off the handle or get your feathers ruffled at every mistake they make. They're busy; they don't always think; they have emotional problems; they can't help it! They want us to forgive their sin, as many times as they sin; they want to be treated with compassion for their faults and for what's not exactly all their fault.
Proverbs 12:16 Fools show their annoyance at once,
but the prudent overlook an insult. NIV
Proverbs 19:11 A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense. NIV
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. NIV
Love Forgets Wrongs
They want us to say, “No worries” or “No biggie” or “Don't worry about it” and “You're forgiven!” They want us to forget all about it, quickly, even it it was a doozey, and never bring it up again, but change the subject if someone else brings it up. Even the most spiritual amoung us are overtaken by sin at times. This time, try this: Let them off the hook. Pray for them. Next time it might be you who needs forgiveness.
More verses about love, forgiveness and revenge:
Romans 12:17-21 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"d says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." NIV
More verses about Forgiveness:
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. NIV
Love Rejoices With the Truth, Not Evil
Admiting the truth about our faults is hard, but necessary; necessary for good relationships, necessary for spiritual growth, and necessary in order to not become hard-hearted. Joy comes with the truth. When you wrong someone you might think you're getting away with something, and that might feel good for a little while, but God knows our hearts.
Seek God's will and you'll be glad when he's glad, sad when he's sad.
Romans 12:9 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. NIV
Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. NIV
Proverbs 14:9 Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright. NIV
Proverbs 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;fear the Lord and shun evil. NIV
Strong's greek word 4722 has been translated in different meanings.
Some translations give the meaning of bearing up under, or enduring all things patiently. Other translations give the meaning of protecting or concealing. Thayer's Greek Lexicon states: "1 Corinthians 13:7, is explained by some, love covereth...i.e., hides and excuses, the errors and faults of others; but it is more appropriately rendered (with other interpreters) beareth. Other scriptures give the idea to bear up under suffering patiently without complaining or taking revenge, or putting up with hardship or persecution for the cause of the gospel of Christ.
In this passage we see that Paul is suffering persecution because of spreading the gospel. When he is away from the church, but he vrey concerned for them and longed to see them. When he found out from Timothy that the church was standing firm in their faith and also missed Paul, he was encouraged in his distress and persecution. He knew his suffering was bearing fruit. He could see the result of his hard work: that the church was continuing to stand firm in their faith. (verses 1-10). But we see in verse 1 and 5, the idea of being willing to stand up under much persecution and trials for the sake of the gospel, and for the church. He was standing up under it, but then felt he couldn't any longer. His heart was burdened with concern for the Thessalonians. He needed to know how the they were doing, so he sent Timothy and was strengthened by news of God's work in them. Then he thanked God for the joy he had because of the great news, and prayed for the Lord to make their love grow even more, and strengthen their hearts so they would be blameless on the day when Jesus returns. (verses 8-13). This is a great picture of love: We see his great love and caring he has for the church (his spiritual children), his willingness to suffer great trials, his earnest prayers for them, and his joy in knowing God was doing great things to grow their love after he had "planted the seed."
Other verses that use this same word include these (Bold added for emphasis):
1 Corinthians 9:12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn't we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.
So we see Paul's great love for the church, that he would rather put up with anything. He would rather put up with having less, than assert his right to get support from them. He didn't ask them for support. (verses 7-18). He worked on the side of his ministry. Because of his love for the church and for the Lord Jesus Christ, he considered it a great joy and reward for him to be able to offer his work for no pay. He had such a great love for the Lord and for the people, that he was compelled to preach and he did it as a volunteer. He even gave up his right to be married (1 Corinthians 7 esp. verses 7, 20, 24, 32-38, 1 Corinthians 9:5) and to be supported or paid. He died to himself and his own desires in order to serve the Lord in the best way he could, with the aim of getting the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
Of course Jesus is our best example of suffering because of his great love for us. We see his attitude and love in Isaiah 53:1-12.
Many hated and rejected Jesus. They were envious of him. They didn't believe he was the Son of God. He willingly served God all his days in ministry putting up with people constantly begging him for healing, asking him questions, trying to trick him, being mocked, being called horrible names, even putting up with the disciples shenanigans and lack of faith, his own family rejecting him, etc. Then in his last days he endured beating, being betrayed and abandoned by his own friends who promised they would never leave him, being treated like a criminal when he had never once ever done or said anything wrong. He endured untrue accusations and slander, the tearing of his flesh from being whipped, being disrobed, the weight of carrying the heavy cross up the hill, having nails driven into his arms and feet, then the extreme agony of hanging on the cross as his blood slowly flowed out from his body, Then he bore the weight of all of our sins (verse 11, 12). He did all this, and much, much more than we know, for... us. While we were yet sinners (Romans 5:6-8). To make an offering for sin (verse 10) so we could be forgiven and have fellowship with God. And be called his children and live with him. Forever. (John 3:16-17) That's love. The most precious kind.
Notice Jesus' attitude shown in Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
1 John 4:9-12 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. NIV
Loving your enemies Matthew 5:43-48
Even if you go with the translation of 1 Corinthians 13:7 as "love always protects", that concept is shown in other bible passages. Love is concerned for the needs of others. Remember the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37? The one who helped the stranger put his own needs on hold and took the time out of his busy schedule to help the stranger of a different culture who was in need.
More bible verses about protecting others:
Matthew 25:40 "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' NIV
Psalm 82:3-4 Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. 4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked. NIV
Deuteronomy 24:17-18 Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. 18 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this. NIV
Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. NIV
Love Believes/Trusts All Things
This is also translated to say Love trusts always, but when you go to the interlinear greek text it says "believes all things". Could it mean believing/trusting all things of God, both in his word and what he tells us through his Spirit (guidance, prophecy, wisdom, discernment, etc.)
In HELPS Word-studies we see that the greek word carries with it the meaning "to be persuaded" or know in your heart, fully convinced.
Thayer's Greek Lexicon adds "to put confidence in one, to trust one", "to believe one's words" and "place reliance on" and further down "to believe and embrace what God has made known either through Christ or concerning Christ". It might also be used "in an ethical sense, or conficence in the goodness of men".
When we're trusting in God, he gives us the courage to do the hard thing (take that leap of faith) and the right thing (no matter what others think); to give generously, trusting that God always provides; to take risks to stick up for the weak because we trust that God rewards.
Some verses about faith and love working together:
1 John 4:7-8 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. NIV
1 John 4:16-18 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. NIV
Read about man who brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus and asked him to take pity on them and help them in Mark 9:14-29
When Jairus brought his daughter to Jesus he told them, "Don't be afraid; just believe." Read the account in Mark 5:35-43.
When the disciples were amazed about the fig tree withering after Jesus cursed it, here's what he said: Matthew 21:21 Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." NIV
James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. NIV
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. NIV
Love Hopes Always; Love Doesn't Give Up
When we share the gospel with others, we give them the hope they're longing for, deep down, even if they don't admit it.
Look at the great hope of salvation contained in Romans 8:18-30: being called by the love of God; being forgiven and made right with God; having a wonderful destiny; being brought into freedom -- we're no longer a slave to sin, but are free to serve the living God; the glory of being adopted and called one of God's own children; we were bought at a price and our bodies will be given new life: we'll be given a new spiritual body; help from the Spirit while we wait who intercedes for us in prayer according to God's loving will; being conformed into the image of Jesus; be
Verses about Hope:
This passage shows us how we have hope in the glory of God, how our trials grow hope in us, and when we have hope in our hearts, it takes away our disappointment and shame. Romans 5:1-5
Proverbs 10:28 The prospect of the righteous is joy,
but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing. NIV
Romans 12:11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. NIV
Love Doesn't Fail
If we're loving perfectly, we don't fail in these areas. Of course none of us loves perfectly yet. And when we see our own failings, it shows the need for constant forgiveness and shows us that we can't expect perfection in others either.
More verses about love:
Hosea 10:12 Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you. NIV
1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. NIV
Romans 13:8-10 8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not covet," and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. NIV
Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. NIV
These verses sum up how we should love one another and love like Jesus did:
The golden rule
Jesus washes feet
Jesus says the ones who do his will (love with his love, wash one another's feet) are the ones in the family of God:
Matthew 12:48 He replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."
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