Recently, I have felt the Lord working in my life. He keeps bringing me back to a passage from 1 Corinthians, chapter 13 in a number of diverse ways. On Sunday, February 27th, I used 1 Corinthians 13 for our New Testament scripture which I brought into a message to you during our Sunday worship. I could not include all that I wanted to say in that message time. I am taking the opportunity I get to elaborate on that message here in our March Good News Letter.
So, if you would please take out your Bible, turn to 1 Corinthians 13: 1 – 13 and read the entire passage. Now, go to verses 4 through 8a and read it and every time you see the word “love” and “it” substitute the name Jesus in your reading.
It would read like this (From The Common English Bible): Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind, Jesus is not jealous, Jesus does not brag, Jesus is not arrogant, Jesus is not rude, Jesus does not seek his own advantage, Jesus is not irritable, Jesus does not keep a record of complaints, Jesus is not happy with injustice, but Jesus is happy with truth. Jesus puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things. Jesus never fails.
When we read scripture this way, which is one of the ways that Disciple Bible Study uses in a few of its lesson’s exercises, we begin to see what Scripture is asking of us differently and it is my deeply felt prayer. When we substitute Jesus’ name in the scripture, we see how Jesus wants us to live our lives. When we look at scripture this way, we see that is how Jesus really lived His life. When we do this, each of us can be reminded of the type of love that God shows to the world. It is agape love that God wants for you and for me to share with those that we meet, whether it be family, friends, acquaintances we have in our community or even extending way beyond in the world around us.
Now let us take this exercise one step further and substitute our name for “love” and “it.” It would read like this (The Living Bible) _____ is very patient and kind, _____ is never jealous or envious, _____ is never boastful or proud, ____ is never haughty or selfish or rude. ____ does not demand their own way. _____ Is not irritable or touchy. ______ does not hold grudges and will hardly ever notice when others do _____ wrong. _____ is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever truth wins out. When _____ cares for someone _____ will be loyal to them no matter what the cost. _____ will always believe in them, always expect the best for them and always stand ground in defense of them.
We are human and God know our heart and that we are on a journey toward a better perfection in our lives. So, we cannot always substitute our name for Jesus and for love. In verse 8a “Love (Jesus) never fails”. But we are still a work in progress and when the day comes and we are sitting at the feet of Jesus, He will see us in perfection and bring us into His glory!
Live In Peace,