" As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the WORD, that ye may grow thereby." 1 Peter 2:2
This week I've been able to finish memorizing chapter 13 of first Corinthians. It's been quite a few weeks, but what a blessing it has been to me!
When I first started memorizing the well known love chapter I honestly didn't know what the LORD had in plan for me. What would HE reveal to me? It was my desire to be fully acquainted with GOD'S LOVE for me... and in turn gain a deeper understanding of how HIS love could work through me.
The LORD, in HIS love and faithfulness,... made something quite clear to me. It was almost towards the end of the chapter...
But until coming to the end of the chapter, I realized a few things about LOVE.
Love puts away all form of selfishness. I suppose I knew that. But it's something else to apply it.... to let go of self.
Can we truly love without having God's love in us? We might fool ourselves, but I don't think we'll go very far. Since GOD is LOVE, we need His Holy Spirit to abide in us.
"... because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:5
Isn't it beautiful to know that LOVE comes from GOD? And nothing we do can substitute for the love of GOD.
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags..."
And so, as I was nearing the end of the chapter, one of the verses made me stop a bit.
" When I was a child, I spake as a child I understood as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things." 1 Corinthians 13:11
Am I like a child most days?
I suddenly realized that, yes, I'm often childish when I don't show God's love in my life. I'm just like a child who wants things her own way... by not suffering long, by being unkind, by seeking my own, by envying, by being proud, by thinking evil... or even being provoked when I think I'm right.
Does that mean that when I'm tired of "bearing it all" and fall short of applying love in my life... that I'm being childish? Why do I feel hurt? Why do I keep record of wrongs? Why do I give up showing kindness?
Have I not grown in the LORD? Have I not put away childish things?
And so I came to the understanding that desiring and having GOD'S WORD in my heart will make me to grow and bear fruit. We are to live outside of our fleshly desires... or childishness. We are to grow.
"For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. "
I remember a verse I had memorized not too long ago... how much strength it gives me to put away childish things:
" But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? "
Lord, help me to turn away from self... be my strength from day to day.
The chapter does not end there. Yes, we may know what love is... in part. The LORD reminds us not to be weary in well-doing. Yes, we struggle. Yes, we fall. We have the flesh that is enmity to GOD.
But God's gentleness is quite evident in the last verses, reminding us that one day,
" ... that which is perfect will come, and that which is in part shall be done away."
1 Corinthians 13:10
Our life here on earth is for a moment.... sometimes we don't understand... we see darkly through a glass. We may know in part. But one day, we shall soon know... even as we are known! What a wonderful promise.
LOVE. It is the greatest gift. Given to us freely from above in the LORD JESUS CHRIST.
HE was the perfect example. And He desires that we should walk in HIS ways.
"As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love."
May you be encouraged to exercise God's love in your life... by desiring HIS Word, so that you may grow thereby.