I stumbled upon A Love Worth Giving by Max Lucado tonight. I've read some of it before but I was going to lend it out and it ended up not working out, so I decided to read some of it over myself. The text gives a detailed explaination of 1Corinthians 13, also known as the "wedding verse." As a side-note, before I understood what it really meant, I used to think this verse was just overused and by no means realistic for how people could really show love to others. It took me a long time and a closer walk in my faith to realize that it was describing God's perfect love for us, the model to use in our relationships with others, still knowing that by our nature we can never love the way He loves us. It was very encouraging for me to be reminded of these truths about God. I'll just focus on a couple I liked reading about and some thoughts about them...
Before anything else, Love is patient.
God is ever patient with us, but in light of that, why is it still hard many times to be patient with others?
Love does not anger.
I liked how the writing described how anger isn't a sin in and of itself, but it can lead to sin. The author also said anger often comes from rejection, in any form. If we remember that we are not rejected by God but accepted, it helps deal with feeling rejected by others or even God sometimes. I liked this..and the example given of how much Paul changed when he turned his life over to God and was transformed from being so full of anger to full of joy and being thankful for those who shared in his burdens and gave him encouragement along the way.
Love never fails.
God loves us simply because he's chosen to do so. His love is uncaused and spontaneous. In our world, our love depends on what we feel from the receiver of that love. Not so with God. We have no thermostatic impact on his love for us.
He is the one who bears the fruit of love, as spoken in Galatians..of the fruits of the Spirit first listed is love. We have one job: to receive nourishment/love from Jesus. “I am the Vine, you are the branches." Apart from him we cannot produce anything. Through him we can do more than we ever thought and love others in ways we never imagined.
Not trying to make it sound so simple, because it's really not...it's HARD to do the things descibed in that verse. But it is encouraging that even in the times when I miss the mark, I know He will always be there, drawing me closer, loving me still, and urging me to love some more.