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W.I.S.H. – Weekly Insights for Spiritual Health  08-22-2018

Read:   1 Corinthians 13

So the First Letter of John chapter 4 says, “God is Love”, multiple times.  Two weeks ago I wrote on how inspirational I have found that passage to be over the years.  Still, what is love?  How can we be sure that we understand Who God is, if we aren’t sure that we understand the nature of love?

So here’s my reasoning:  let’s use the definition of love that God gave us in scripture.  That should largely work, right?  I think so.  The best definition of love that I have found in the Bible is Paul’s description in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  Introducing his theme Paul says 1 Cor. 12:31 “And now I will show you the most excellent way”.  For Paul love is the most excellent way, because it is God’s way.

Here is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 written with the word “God” placed where the word “love” occurs:

4 God is patient; God is kind; God is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. God does not insist on God’s own way; God is not irritable or resentful; 6 God does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 God bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  8 God never ends.

Does that sound like God as revealed by Jesus Christ?  I think so.  Is this the God that you seek to honor in your life?  I hope so.  There are many Christians who struggle with their sense of the nature of God.  They have learned of God as a punitive Judge, or ever watchful Police Officer, or even as an all-powerful lightning bolt throwing Zeus-like God.  That’s not how Jesus described God.  Jesus described God as a Good Father (Luke 11:12-13).  In the parable of the prodigal son (the word prodigal means lavish, extravagant and/or wasteful, and frivolous) the father rushes to greet the wayward son who has finally come home after wasting his half of the inheritance.  The father gives the son a robe of honor, a family ring, and throws a huge party.  This parable could easily be called the parable of the prodigal father, rather than the prodigal son.  That lavish, generous love how Jesus characterizes the way of His Heavenly Father, His Father and Your Father (John 20:17).

Shalom, Pastor Rob Nystrom