The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
Since we are now observing the Lenten season, I feel it is fitting to take this opportunity to focus on the Power of God’s Love. No doubt about it, Jesus Christ is the perfect example of the power of God’s love given to us. Lent commemorates the time when Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for 40 days, where he fasted and was tempted by Satan. After the 40 days, Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit declaring the love of God to all. Lent is a 40-day journey consisting of prayer, repentance, and reflection as we prepare to journey with Jesus to the cross. This journey ends with celebrating the hope and the joy we have in the Risen Lord on Easter. Some of you might use this time to do a fast of some kind as you seek to experience a deeper walk with God.
Although we will never be able to fully comprehend God’s redeeming love poured out for us in Jesus Christ, we can show forth our gratitude in the life we live all for the glory of God. Jesus paid the ultimate penalty for our sins. He who knew no sin willingly, obediently, sacrificially, and lovely took on our sins and the sins of the world. He accomplished this by dying a cruel death on the cross of Calvary - God’s ultimate plan of redemption for a fallen humanity. In love, God sacrificed his one and only Son to reconcile us to himself (John 3:16). The power of God’s love raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus lives forevermore. He is Lord of all. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is actual proof we are no longer victims of sin, rather, we have been given the gift of new and everlasting life in Jesus Christ. God’s love is perfect love. There is no greater love than the immeasurable love of God. Nothing and no one can separate us from the precious love of God. God loves us more than anyone can and will ever love us. God loves us with an everlasting love. His love can be trusted. His love does not disappoint. His love for us cannot be broken. He cannot love us any more, and he cannot love us any less. God’s love is amazing.
In today’s world there are many expressions of what love is, is not, or should be. Love and lust are completely opposites. We can draw truth from God’s Word, because God’s Word is truth. 1 Corinthians 13 begins by telling us without the love of God we are spiritually empty and nothing we do matters. Our dedicated service and acts of kindness mean nothing without godly love. God’s love brings hope and healing into our lives and into the lives of others. The text clearly tells us what love is and what love is not. Love suffers long. Love is very patient. True love shows mercy. Love is kind and gentle. Love is never harsh. Love does not cause harm to a person. Love is not jealous or puffed up. We should always desire the best for others as we want for ourselves. Love is never boastful or proud. Love is not rude or selfish. Who are we to judge what is in the heart of another? Love does not provoke or makes another person angry. We should not abuse the authority we have over another, and another should not abuse the authority they have over us.
Further, love is not destructive, rather, love builds up. Love is not evil and therefore does not make us think any evil. Love does not glory or rejoice in the pain or despair of another. Love does not exploit. Love rejoices only in the truth. Love endures all things. Love is unselfish. Love causes us to see the good in others and even in ourselves. Love gives us hope. Love never fails. We can trust God’s unfailing love in every situation.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)
We can only love God and love one another with the help of the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to take the time during this Lenten season to meditate on 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8. Hear God speak to you! Sometimes we are afraid to love, or to be loved, because we have been hurt so many times in the past. Maybe you are in a place where you do not feel God’s love for you, or you are in place where you are questioning God’s love. Invite God to meet you where you are. God’s love mends the broken hearted. It is by faith we know we are loved by God.
For your reflection, I have provided a copy of 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8 in the New Living Translation:
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.
3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud
5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!
Please join me in reflecting on the Power of God’s Love as we prepare to journey with Jesus to the cross and to celebrate the Risen Lord on Easter. Remember you are loved and highly favored. I pray you will feel the power of God’s love in you, and that others will see the power of God’s love in the life you live.
In love, from sister to sister,
Rev. Tracey R. Grosse