“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am noting. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record 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. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1st Corinthians 13:1-12 – God Tells Us He Is Author of Love)
Tongue speaking and preaching skills are means of revelation but secondary in the Christian life to God’s love being active in our lives. Intellectual ability (the wisdom often worshiped by Paul’s readers) and powerful faith that can perform miracles do not compare to love that reveals God’s own heart. Our ability to understand or know God’s truth beloved, is still limited as human beings, but one day we shall see God’s truth and love face to face.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, as the Author of Love, You have given us a multitude of reasons and examples to reflect on just how much You love us. The words of scripture from Paul in Corinthians, moves us closer to You and to feel Your Presence with us as we read them. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“There is no situation, event, problem, nor threat, that is not in need of prayer.”
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—-Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—-and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:14-15– God Tells Us He Is Author of Love)
Christ revealed the very heart of God as He identified Himself as the Shepherd Son whose mind and heart were committed to offer love and life for the sake of His charge. Jesus loved enough to know His sheep personally.
“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—-only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (John 10:17-18 – God Tells Us He Is Author of Love)
The cross revealed God’s supreme love for us and for His Son. The cross did not surprise God. It was part of His plan of revelation, a plan to which Jesus totally committed Himself. As previously noted, Jesus had the authority to lay His life down and authority to pick it up again. There were no surprises here. Jesus knew exactly what it was He must do and He did so in absolute love by His being nailed to a cross for our sins. This is a powerful love and all part of God’s plan from before He created this earth and us with it.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
In each of the parables, the farmer who lost a sheep, the woman who lost a coin (probably the only money she had) and the man who didn’t want to wait for his inheritance, and his father gave him his money and he went and squandered his wealth in a short time had teachings in their different stories.
The farmer lost one of his 100 sheep and he left the flock in the open country and searched for the one who was lost, found him and he put him on his shoulders and went to call his neighbors and told them he had lost a sheep but had found him and they all rejoiced with the farmer of finding his sheep. The woman had lost a coin and it probably was all she had, but she cleaned her home and swept the floors, and found the coin. Again, she went to her neighbors and rejoiced with her in finding her coin. The parable of the son is full of symbolism. The young man would say to his father he would do things and then not go do them, while his brother might argue about doing what his father asked him to do, but would go and do it for his father anyway. When faced with his younger son’s request to have his share of the land and all that was on it, the father gave him his money and he was off on his way, only to spend his entire wealth on things that do not last and before he realized, was out of his money. He hired himself out to feed pigs (keep in mind, pigs were considered unclean for Jews) and he was so hungry he was considering eating the pods the pigs got to eat. The man realized that his father’s servants never were in want and they had clothes and food to eat and he returned home. His intention was to ask for his father’s forgiveness. The Bible says his father was looking in the direction of where his son left (I suspect he looked for him every day), saw him coming and ran out to hug his son, to have his servants put on fine clothes and rings upon his fingers, to show he was still in the family. His other brother didn’t appreciate what his father did or that he accepted him back home again.
Here, Luke brought these three stories together, reveling the depth of God’s love and the extent to which He take initiative to find His own. God loves His children, even to the last one. Jesus is, in fact, a revelation of how far God goes in seeking His misplaced children. In my case, I am so thankful for the forgiveness and love showered upon me for having moved away from God and when I came back to Him, He was like the father looking on the horizon and when He saw me, moved ever closer to hug and kiss me and welcome me back. There literally is no better feeling than this, beloved.