In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
The above verses are just a tiny segment of what we have in Christ Jesus. The riches we have been given because we acknowledge that Jesus is the Messiah and our Saviour are astounding when you think that it was all done for one reason - God loved us. When it comes right down to it, there is no other reason why we have been granted these incredible gifts. Therefore, today I would like us to meditate on just a few of those gifts of love the Lord bestows on all who come to Him.
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance:
The above verse reminds me of how some people behave once they know Jesus as their Saviour. We are trying so hard to "get it right" and to not fail in our walk with God that we unintentionally assume an air of self-righteousness. We don't think we are superior to those who don't have a relationship with God. However, to those on the outside looking in, our striving to deny ourselves and follow Christ might give them the impression one has to be perfect to be able to approach God. They don't understand that we are sinners saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9), and our desire to live a holy life comes only from our thankfulness at being saved in the first place. We want to please the Lord by ensuring we do not bring shame to His name. But sometimes, it has the reverse effect.
"Love bears all things, believes all things,
1 Corinthians 13 is probably the most well-known and well-used chapter in the Bible because of its subject matter - love. It is the "go-to" chapter for weddings, for it uniquely and perfectly describes the many facets of love. But to keep 1 Corinthians 13 in context, we need to look at the chapter before it, which talks about spiritual unity and diversity in the body of Christ.
It was this diversity that the Apostle Paul was addressing. He wanted people to realize that even though we are one body with many members, we have all been baptized by the same Spirit, so we should try to live in peace with each other. So speaking in tongues, or having the gifts of prophecy or faith, was not important if you didn't have love.
Paul eloquently reminds us that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. And when we look at Paul's description of love, we see the object of his affection right away.
© 2014 Laura J. Davis. All Rights Reserved.