I couldn’t be patient. This week has been a processing/evaluating myself week. Have you ever had one of those? It’s one in which every activity, response, and thought is met with consideration as to the why behind it. “Why am I reacting so angry right now? Why is this person frustrating me so much? Why can I not get past my own stuff and hurried self to look the checker in the eye?” And as these, what seemed to be character flaws arose, I realized I am not up for this “Love it up”challenge.
And then I realized the answer to the why’s. I was relying on my own strength and power to love like Jesus loves. There is no way I can be patient like Jesus, unless I allow the fruits of His Holy Spirit inside me to do it.
Here’s where you and I MUST begin this challenge. GOD LOVES YOU AND ME! For those of you who are thinking, well, that’s obvious, go with me for a minute.
The God who created the world. Who is ALL powerful. ALL perfect. Over ALL. Loves you. Stop. Rest. Close your eyes and time yourself for 60 seconds to only think on this one reality.
Be still and know that He is God. And that there is NOTHING you can do or not do to make this God STOP. Loving. You. Now. And ALWAYS.
To know about God’s love is one thing, to believe it is another. We can so fall into Satan’s lies of negating the love God has for us when we are in a trial, questioning our current circumstances, question God’s character, have unfulfilled expectations, have been waiting for too long, are wrestling with our inadequacies or have lost hope. These are ESPECIALLY the times we as God’s children, who believe in His Son Jesus, to rise to faith in the true promises of God’s Word.
Will you believe this truth today that God loves you? And so much so that He sent His fifth child, no, not fifth, His ONLY Son to die for you? If this is the truth you need to hang out in for the next 15 weeks and take in all the attributes as a better understanding of His great love for you, do it friend! Because each of these 15 attributes of love in 1 Corinthians 13 explain God’s love for us.
It is only when I am holding onto, being filled with God’s love that I can rely on it. And when I can rely on it, go to the bank with it, that it propels me to love Him back and love other’s through Him. He then gives me the strength and ability to overcome my fleshly, hurried, impatient self – And so we know and rely on (or believe) the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 1 John 4:16
A song was also at the forefront of my mind all week. It’s one I sing to my little girls every night (mainly because my Mom started singing it to them and they wouldn’t let me not sing it to them as well). The song couldn’t be more simple, but couldn’t be more crucial for our own personal, deep, walking through the day reality. “Oh, how I love Jesus, Oh, how I love Jesus, Oh how I love Jesus….because He first loved me.”
I began to acknowledge 3 realities I must lean into in this “Love it up” challenge.
- FIRST-Just like the song, I need take stock in the truth that Jesus loved me first and loves me just as I am (1 John 4:11, Romans 5:8).
- SECOND-The only way I can love others with the love of Jesus is by following the first commandment to love God with my heart, soul, mind and strength (Matthew 22:37).
- THIRD-When I am receiving God’s poured out love for me and loving Him in return there is a supernatural outpouring of love that flows out of me to others. I have the strength and power to love the unlovable (Ephesians 5:1-2).
So within this above reality and below reality of patience defined I want to extend the “Love is patient” for one more week. We then can rest in and grasp the love of Christ for us and confidently walk in His “patience” this week.
Love it up-15 in 15 Challenge Details:
Within a given week I will write about/define the given love attribute early on Monday. Then we will have Monday to Monday to pray through, act on, write on it. On Wednesday of this same week, I will recap the previous week’s love attribute/give you a download of my “love journey”.
Love is Patient Defined:
Webster’s defines the word “patient” as:
- “able to remain calm and not become annoyed when waiting for a long time or when dealing with problems or difficult people; able or willing to bear”
The definition/thought that was highlighted to me above was the “able or willing to bear” and the “not hasty”. To be with people. And wait. To endure and bear hard, painful stuff with others. To talk with others in spite of their incapabilities, insecurities, and inadequacies. To respond without anger. To be still. To not hurry, hurry, hurry. 24/7. This is our call of the week friends. To know and BELIEVE in the love God has for us and to spill out His “patience” everywhere we walk.
© 2012 Standing on Peace