Bible Devotions

What Love Does

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Having finished Saddleback Church’s 40 Days of Love Bible study, I am challenged to apply the biblical principles Jesus taught us through his own personal relationships with others. I’m sure you will be challenged to. Let’s look at four things love does and see how well we do.

Love Extends Grace

Grace is undeserved merit. Forgiven a debt we owe. God showers us with grace through Jesus Christ because we owed a debt of sin we couldn’t pay. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Jesus Christ paid for our sin when he died on the cross in our place. Since we’ve been given freedom from penalty of death, we are to extend the same kind of grace towards others.

What does extending grace to others look like? It can mean many things in various circumstances. For example say a husband and wife are having a conversation and the husband rolls his eyes as the wife tries to share something about her day. Extending grace might mean she doesn’t hold the “eye rolling” against him but instead lets the “offense” fall to the ground. In another situation extending grace might look like this, you hold your tongue while a co-worker continues complaining about all that’s wrong rather offering suggestions on how to make it right.

Don’t forget to extend grace to yourself. That’s right we need to cut our self a little slack when we mess up. The enemy likes to make us feel terrible about our mistakes, but the truth is Jesus cleansed us from all unrighteousness. Although, we may stumble from time to time, Jesus holds us with His outstretched arms.

Love Expresses Faith

Faith is about believing in what we can not see. It is being confident God will save us though we haven’t seen the end of story yet. You’ve heard the saying “blind faith”. It probably comes from this notion. Our God is invisible. We can’t see Him with our eyes. We read about Him in the Bible. We pray to Him though we can not physically touch Him. The more we understand God and His Ways the easier it becomes to love and believe Him.

When we pray, we express faith. When we read God’s Word, we express faith. When we choose God’s Way over our way we demonstrate our faith. But we don’t just express faith in God. We also express faith in others.

What does it look like to express faith in others? Maybe having faith in someone means receiving love from someone who has previously hurt you. Believing they really do love you and choosing to accept their love is expressing faith in them. In other cases, trusting someone enough to share your heart is an example of expressing faith. Having faith your child will grow into a responsible adult is another way.

Love Expects the Best

Love is optimistic. It looks for the best in others. Love builds up instead of tearing down. Therefore, love will find a way to draw good out of others. One way to expect the best is to give people the benefit of doubt. Don’t automatically assume the worse motives for someone’s behavior towards you. Instead try to assume their motives were pure. We will never know another person’s true motives. Only God knows our intentions and motives. Therefore, we should expect the best in others and let God deal with their motives at the appropriate time.

Love Endures the Worst

This aspect of love is a difficult one. When things get tough, the tough run and hide. But love is different. Love doesn’t flee when relationships get rocky. Love bares all things, believes all things and endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:7). Love will put up with bad behavior. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love says “I’ll stick with you to the end.”

What does it mean to endure the worst? Perhaps it means forgiving a spouse who cheated on you but has returned to you. Maybe it means sticking with a seriously ill friend until the end comes. In other cases, love endures by visiting an elderly person in a nursing home. It may mean enduring a 3-year-old child’s temper tantrum without screaming in return. Life can be unpleasant, painful and messy. Love endures the worst.

So how did we do? Rate your self on how well you:

Extend Grace

Express Faith

Expect the Best

Endure the Worst

Lord God Almighty, we are forever amazed at the depth of your love. Continue your good work in us that we, too, may learn how to love others as you have loved us. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word. For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

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Forever Love

valheart2bBut love will last forever! 1 Corinthians 13:8 NLT

Over the last few weeks we’ve been looking at love.  What love is and what love is not.  Today’s topic is real love will last forever.  How can that be you might ask?  It’s simple.  Real love comes from God.  God is faithful and true.  He is perfect.  He is the author of love.  He, Himself, is love.  God lasts forever.

Now, don’t get discouraged by all the ways your love might not be living up to the standard we’ve discussed.  Human love will always fall short at some point or another.  That’s where grace comes in.  Cut yourself some slack.  Realize if you can tell you’re not loving as scripture depicts love, it is a warning that you might be trying to love out of your resources rather than allowing God to love through you. If this is the case, stop what you’re doing and pray.  Try something like this:

Oh Father, forgive me I’m trying to love in my own strength again.  Help me yield to your Spirit and allow your love to flow through me.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Real love comes from our real God.  It is always available and never runs out.  Real love lasts forever!

Self check: If I read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and substitute my name in place of “love” how true would it be?

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Love Endures

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

Real love endures all things.  The love we’ve been discussing is not human love.  For human love fails when something terrible happens.  No, God’s love, real love can withstand anything.  Paul tells us nothing can separate us from God’s love.  Not demons, not angels, not principalities, not even the power of hell.  No human efforts can thwart God’s love.  No human failings.  Not even our sin can keep God from loving us.  Why?

Because love endures.

Self check: Where has my love failed to endure?  Am I willing to allow God’s love to endure through me?

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Love is Hopeful

1064711_the_crossLove suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT


Hope always believes the best is yet to come.  We have a hope in Jesus Christ that cannot be taken away.  Nothing can separate us from God’s love.  Our mistakes can’t.  Demons and angels can’t. Even the power of hell can’t touch God’s love for us.  God so loved the world He gave His only Son to die for us, so those who believe in Him might be saved.  There is no other name which we can be saved.  Whoever believes in their heart and confesses with their mouth Jesus Christ is Lord will be saved.

Love is hopeful.  Love sees the best in others. Love hopes the best for others.

Self check: How hopeful have I been lately?  Where can I begin applying hope today?

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Love Never Loses Faith

916792_dragonLove is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

Love never gives up and never loses faith.  What is faith anyway?  Faith is believing what we can’t see.

Reading Mark 9, three verses stood out to me: Mark 9:19, 9:23 and 9:29.  Lets take look.

Mark 9:19 Jesus calls the people a “faithless generation”.  The people didn’t believe the demon could be cast out of the man’s son.

Mark 9:23 When the man begged Jesus to help, Jesus responds with “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  The man didn’t really believe Jesus could heal his son.  Jesus tells him it’s possible if you believe.

Mark 9:29 When the disciples ask why they couldn’t do it, Jesus says “This kind can come out by nothing by prayer and fasting.”  Again, this is a reference to unbelief.  The disciples didn’t believe they could do it.

Something else stuck me as I read this scenario over and over.  The Great Commandment in Mark 12:30-31 came to mind: “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

If faith is about believing and we are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, one of the ways we do this is through prayer and fasting.  By praying we are believing God exists.  We are connecting to God by engaging our heart, soul and mind.  When we fast, along with prayer, we engage our body and strength.  This is love in action.

Self check: How easily do I lose my faith?  A crisis situation occurs. An irritating co-worker interrupts you.  What I really want to happen doesn’t. How often do I turn to God prayer?  How often to I engage my whole body in prayer through fasting?

Don’t give up.  Continue to believe.  For God rewards those who seek Him. Love never loses faith.

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Love Never Gives Up

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

Love never gives up.  Human love does.  Ever get tired of forgiving someone?  Ever get so frustrated with your family you just want to run away or hide?  When we try to love out of our limited human resources, we will soon find we fall short in the love department.

God’s love doesn’t run out.  His love is forever.  It never gives up, although they may be plenty of reasons to justify quitting. God’s love doesn’t quit.   Think about the parables of the lost son, lost sheep, and lost coin.  In each case, they searched until they found what was lost.  God’s love searches for the lost and doesn’t give up until He finds them.

Self check:  Have I given up on someone?  Is there a relationship I have failed to love in?  Am I searching for the lost?

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Love Does Not Rejoice About Injustice

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

No matter how “deserving” it may seem for someone to “get what’s coming to them”, that’s not what love would do.  Love does not avenge itself.  Love is not secretly glad someone was injured or hurt or paid back for their wrongs.  Love is merciful.  Love is gentle.

Love rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  When one more soul comes to know Jesus Christ and is saved, love rejoices.  When truth in taught in our schools, love rejoices.  When families stick together through thick and thin, love rejoices.  When marriage stay together and spouse work together, love rejoices.

Self check: Have I been rejoicing about injustice?  Where can I rejoice in truth today?

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Love Keeps No Record of Wrong

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Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

When you find yourself in an agrument with someone you’ve known for a long time, do you bring of past mistakes? If so, you’re not being loving.  Love keeps no record of wrong.  The Bible tells us love covers a multitude of sins.  It is loving to overlook a past sin.

Switchfoot, a Chrisitian band, has a song lyric that applies here.  It goes something like this: “I dare you to move like today never happened”.  Just imagine living like yesterday didn’t happened.  How might our behavior be different?

Self check:  Am I holding anything against another?  Am I storing up everyone’s wrongs to bring up in the next argument?

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Love is Not Irritable

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

When irritation sets in, it is clearly an indicator love has left the building.  Irritation focuses on self and how something is not happening the way we want it to.  We’ve already discussed love is not selfishness nor does it demand its own way.    Love extends grace.  Love covers a multitude of sins. Love makes allowances for each others faults.  Therefore, love is not irritable.

Self check: Have I been irritable lately?  Who do I need to extend grace to?  Where can I make allowances for another’s fault?

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Love Does Not Demand Its Own Way

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

Selfishness is a relationship killer.  Demanding our own way is selfish.  While reading “The Relationship Principles of Jesus” Chapter 36 I came across Luke 6:31 says “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”  It fits perfectly with today’s thought around love not demanding its own way.

If our thought is always on how do we get our own needs met, how loving do you think we are being towards others?  They can sense we are preoccupied.  They can feel the burden we place on them. These unspoken expectations weight down the relationship.   But the answer is easy to say and yet difficult to practice.

Treat others the way you want to be treated.  You want others to listen you, start listening to them.  You want others to be kind to you, start being kind to them.  Have you ever heard the saying “kill them with kindness”?  Well, it’s biblical!  Jesus tells us to love our enemies.  One reason might be when we shower kindness on those who treat us badly, it triggers something in their conscience that plants the seed of change in them.

Love changes things.

Self check: How willing am I to treat others the way I want to be treated, regardless of how they behave towards me?

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