Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
So here lately, it is like I have been just this beginner Christian. God is humbling me greatly right now. I know God’s Word says that we should humble ourselves . . . I guess when we don’t do what is asked of us; He steps in and does the job for us. For some reason, I am predisposed to think that if God intervenes and has to do something for me, it is always going to be painful and difficult . . . the “hard way” if you will. I guess these misconceptions just got planted in me when I was younger. God is using this season to teach me just how kind, loving, and merciful He is. I think it is slowly circling me back around to childlike faith.
Anyway, I was watching this preacher teach a group of about 10 kids this week. He did the simplest message that spoke to my own heart. First, he went through 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Then, he said God is love. Since that is true, we can put God’s name in there: God is patient, God is kind, God does not envy, etc. It is crazy how quickly I can see God as none of those things. Even in this season of feeling like I’m not finishing the school year strong, or just feeling like I am not doing Christianity well, I feel like God stands ready to punish me. I feel like I deserve to be punished. Yet, God in His great mercy is teaching me the opposite. He is teaching me that He really is all that 1 Corinthians 13 says He is. He is protecting me, still trusting me, still persevering with me, still not easily angered with me, still loving me, and still pouring His truth into me. What a great God!!!
Then, the preacher put my name in there and asked some questions. Is Adam patient? Is Adam kind? Does Adam envy? He went through the whole list. I want you to read the verses at the top of this devotional and put your name in the place of love. I found out really quickly that I am not consistently any of those things. Even when I thought of the times I felt like I got one or two of them right, it was still God who prompted me to do right. Left on my own, I am none of them.
Herein lies the simplicity of Christianity. Since I cannot be any of these things on my own, I need God. He sent His Son to die for me so that I could be forgiven. After I asked Him to forgive me, He placed His Holy Spirit inside of me so that He could begin to teach me how to love, be kind, be patient, etc. On this side of eternity, I don’t think I will ever get these virtues down pat, but I do feel like I am growing in the right direction.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and the stars
The Sun and the Earth and Jupiter and Mars
How loving and patient He must be
He’s still working on me.