I've been enjoying reading so much this summer. That's all about to end once school is in full swing. I will be doing my focused reading...reading on Grace for my preparation for Bagels & Blessings and of course my daily readings for my own personal spiritual growth. So among many books I've been reading this summer is Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It's been great! Today I was reminded of while I was reading this he had us do an exercise by replacing our name in 1 Corinthians 13.
I will demonstrate in a moment. You know, nothing else really matters. I love, I mean absolutely love words. I love to write and to speak and listen and read good writings and teachings. Just love the way the words roll off someone's tongue or page. But, we can talk all day, write what we want, but the truth is...if we don't show any of it...it doesn't really matter. There really is something to the "Actions speak louder" adage. Don't be mistaken either by thinking "doing" is "loving" because the verse talks about the fact that even if we give everything we own to the poor or if we sacrifice ourselves...if we don't LOVE the way God means LOVE....then we're still bankrupt! God measures our lives by how we love from His perspective.
OK..are you ready? I'm going type out those same 1 Corinthians 13 verses taken from the Message (because its just fun!)...
"If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. 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,
Love doesn't have a swelled head,
Love doesn't force itself on others,
Love isn't always "me first,"
Love doesn't fly off the handle,
Love doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Love doesn't revel when others grovel,
Love takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Love puts up with anything,
Love trusts God always,
Love always looks for the best,
Love never looks back,
Love keeps going to the end.
NOW...replace your name everywhere you see the word Love. Don't be chicken...watch...Lisa never gives up, Lisa cares more for others that for herself, Lisa doesn't want what she doesn't have....and on and on and on. OK..does it feel a little like what it might feel like to be hit with a 2X4? Ouch! I think I'm going to be working on making sure I show love they way He wants me to. Thank you God for your Grace! I just loved this little reminder! Go and don't just throw the words around...really LOVE today!