Jesus Is Love

GodisLoveA few years back, I shared with you a revelation God had given me about Love as it’s defined in 1 Corinthians 13 in the NIV. I remember the first time I read it as a new believer, love is patient, love is kind…” After the first few lines I thought, I’m toast! I can’t do all of this, not even on my best days. Then one day God shed His light on the subject. He shared that love is not a thing, Love is a person. God identifies Himself as love and His love was made perfect through Jesus. God challenged me to see His Son in these scriptures, so I did, I let Jesus’ name take the place of Love and what followed was one of those revelations that changed my life and view of love forever. I want to share this picture of Christ with you through the amplified version. I hope you’re blessed by it.

1 Corinthians 13:2-8; 13 AMP Substituting love” for “Jesus”. Please note the changes are mine. Enjoy this portrait of Love.

  If I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but I don’t have Jesus [to reach out to others], I am nothing.  If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but I don’t have Jesus, it does me no good at all.

Jesus endures with patience and serenity, He is kind and thoughtful, He’s not jealous or envious; He does not brag and He’s not proud or arrogant. Jesus is not rude; He’s not self-seeking, He’s not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; He doesn’t take into account a wrong endured.  Jesus doesn’t rejoice at injustice, He rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Jesus bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], He endures all things [without weakening].

Jesus never fails [it never fades nor ends for Him]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away.

And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation] and Jesus [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is Love Himself, Jesus Christ.

-Amen. 🙂

Click here to read the original post, Love By Its True Name

 

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My Story

My Dad passed away several months ago. The pain and the grief I feel is beyond words. Our relationship was far from perfect. There were  good times and bad times but at the end of the day he was still Dad. As one of his only remaining relatives I bore the difficult task of settling his personal affairs. I was at the bank to get some papers notarized, the teller read the heading of some of my documents and looked at me and said, “I’m so sorry for you loss. My Dad is still with us and I can’t imagine life without him.”

I could feel the grief and overwhelming pain I fought so hard to suppress bubble back to the surface. I swiped at my eyes in an attempt to stop the tears before they fell. Keep it together. I said to myself. Don’t fall apart. Not now, not here! I politely smiled at the teller as I forced the image of my Dad unresponsive in a hospital bed out of my head. The memory of our last conversation flashed before me and I thought, “Great. I could see the headlines now Lord; Crazy woman breaks down in bank! News at 11.”

Then I heard the Father say, “Share your story.” I asked the teller if is she was a believer and she said yes. I then told her that my dad was an unbeliever for as long as I could remember. A few months prior to his heart attack I was prompted to share Jesus with him. I’ve shared Jesus with him in the past to no avail. So I was hesitant when God asked me to do it again, especially since the last time I shared Christ with him, my husband and I got burned. God kept nudging so I said, “Ok Lord, don’t think I won’t say I told you so.”

Over the next few months, whatever Jesus revealed to me in the scripture, I would share with my dad. To my surprise he was receptive, he had questions, a lot of them and he didn’t hesitate to ask me. I would seek the Father, then I’d share the answer that was revealed to me. It was kind of strange at first, the roles were reversed. I was the teacher and he was the student. We even joked about it, but I knew God was doing something significant here because for someone reason my dad wasn’t letting this new dynamic get in the way of his quest for the truth. This wasn’t an easy task, my Dad said a lot of hurtful things to me and there was no apology from him in sight. Yet, I felt compelled to obey the prompting of the Lord and I held on to God’s promise that He alone  will heal my heart.

During our last conversation, my Dad, the one who resisted my faith and relationship with God the most said to me, “I got it! I finally got it! Thank you daughter for the enlightenment.” That moment felt glorious and victorious, my whole being said “Thank you God, I guess you told me so!” We must have said I love you about five or six times and he promised to call the following week to congratulate my son on his high school graduation. That was a Tuesday. That Thursday afternoon I got a call from the emergency room, “Your dad had a heart attack, he may not make it through the night.”

It’s not easy losing a parent but what gives me strength and a peace I can’t explain is knowing that my Dad received the salvation of our Lord Jesus. My joy is that God used me, His beloved daughter, as a vessel to usher in that salvation. There were tears in the teller’s eyes. I asked her, “Is your Dad saved, has he accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior?” She said, “I think so, but I plan to make sure. I can’t wait to share your story with my Dad.”

This is Love

I walked into that bank with the weight of the world on my shoulders. I walked out refreshed, lifted and comforted by Christ Himself. I believe this is what Jesus meant when He said, no greater love is this than to lay down one’s life for another. I was given the option to stay in that dark place or put my grief aside to give hope to another. In the midst of my “sacrifice” God took the grief I laid down that was so heavy and He gave me His cross, which was light. At least two people, the banker and her father, were blessed and I walked away comforted and divinely used by God. When you lay down your life for another  you don’t lose anything you gain everything, you gain… more of Him!

It’s moments like these that cause me to fall deeper and deeper in love with Jesus, it’s why I’m still in Love after all of these years.