Tag Archives: God

Love in Action in the New Testament – 1 John – part 3

As I mentioned in the last post, there is one other place in 1 John 2 that talks about love.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  1 John 2:15-17

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Reflections on 1 Corinthians 13

After studying love as it is described in 1 Corinthians 13, I wanted to pause and mention some overall reflections.  I learned a lot in this study of love, but one of the things I am impressed by is the sense of how much more there is to learn.  Love is mentioned so commonly in our culture and language that it means very little to us, definitely nothing special.  It does not take long in the study of the bible to come to realize that the love most commonly mentioned there is nothing like what we commonly talk about in our culture.

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Love …Endures All Things… 1 Corinthians 13:7


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As I mentioned in previous posts, verse 7 of 1 Corinthians reads like a 4 point list of emphasis in the description of what the “agape” love is designed to be.

“bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.“  1 Corinthians 13:7  (NKJV) (emphasis mine)

Click the links for the posts that discussed “bears all things,” “believes all things,” and hopes all things.” 

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Love Rejoices in Truth, Not Iniquity – 1 Corinthians 13


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Verse 6 of this chapter has a significance that is easy to overlook, at least it has been for me.  It reads like this:

“does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;”  1 Corinthians 13:6  (NKJV)

If we allow the verse divisions to narrow our focus too much when studying this passage, we can miss the impact of these words.  I must admit that I can remember reading through this verse many times and essentially dismissing it as obvious.  Of course a disciple of Christ is to rejoice in truth.  We should just move on to the next verse.

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Love …is not puffed up. -1 Corinthians 13


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This is the third aspect of the set described in this verse (1 Corinthians 13:4) that are NOT a part of the love we are to have for each other.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 1 Corinthians 13:4  NKJV (emphasis mine)

All three of these are related.  I have heard it described that envy is jealousy regarding another person and that bragging, or parading myself, is wanting others to be jealous of me.  The last one, being puffed up, speaks to an attitude of arrogance.

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Love …does not parade itself… – 1 Corinthians 13


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As we continue through the description of “agape” love provided in 1 Corinthians 13, we come to the next in the series of negative attributes that are not a part of this kind of love.  These are truly relationship killers, whether a part of how we relate to God or each other.  These traits will destroy our relationships and, without our realizing it, destroy us if we possess them.

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;” 1 Corinthians 13:4 (emphasis mine)

Let’s look at how some different translations word this expression:

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Love is Personal


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It is relatively easy to think about loving all the brethren or all people.  It is a interesting observation that when I think about large groups it almost becomes impersonal and does not require much of me.  It does not really touch or affect my life much to imagine loving a faceless group of “all the brethren.”  The love God expects of me is much different.

It is also easy for me to feel good about myself because I think of myself as a nice person.  While it is a good thing to be a nice person, that is only a small part of the love God expects me to have for others.

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Does Loving God Mean I Must Love My Brother?


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For the people of God it only makes sense that we love God.  We may struggle with learning what that love entails, but we understand that He expects it.  And, as we come to know Him and His love more, we are moved to open ourselves more completely to loving Him.  However, there is an integral part of this love that may not seem as obvious.

Reading through 1 John it becomes apparent that there is a direct connection between the love we have for God and the love we have for our brethren.  And this is not an optional connection.  Consider the following passages:

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Loving God Means Putting Him First


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Each of us has patterns in the choices that we make in our lives.  These patterns and choices come from the priorities we have.  We may not give this much thought, but those personal priorities are there for each of us, providing a structure to the lives that we live.

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What Does it Mean to Love God?


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It is not unusual to hear someone claim to love God.  I make that claim myself.  But what does that mean?  Or rather, what is that supposed to mean, as we see it described in God’s word?  In the last post, I talked about how our whole existence is supposed to be involved in our love for God.  What does that mean to me?  How will that show up in my life?  This is not to be merely a one time event, but an ongoing relationship.  Notice the sense of continuity in this passage in Jude.

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