Thursday, August 27, 2015

Love S U F F E R S L O N G and is kind...

Love is pro-actively kind and patient; it suffers another person long, it “puts up with” or looks past their unsanctified kinda struggles and junk to witness and win em to Christ. 

It doesn't put up with personal sinning. Doesn't accept returning to, or living in sin.  

Paul in Galatians 5:22 said, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love." And then he goes on to define this kind of pure love with these words, "Joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, temperance, meekness." I know I personally wasn't born with patience especially around irritating, pushy, intrusive people--am learning it. Yes, long-suffering is one of the great characteristics of God's love. 

You remember how impetuous Pete was. Peter, perhaps felt like he was growing real spiritual while walking with the Jesus team and was developing into a full-on leader-type in his walk with the Lord. 

Well, one day Peter asked Jesus, "How often should I forgive a man the same offense? Seven times?" Was Peter trying to impress the other team-members, the the other disciples, sorta like indicating to his top hero, "Lord, hey there, I believe that I pretty much have the capacity to do it seven times for the same exact offense." 

The Lord responded with, "Awesome-sauce dude.. wow! Yo Pete, you rock! If you can do that over and over.. then you are one big leader. How great would that be!" No, the Lord didn’t say anything like that. 

But the Lord said to him, "Peter, seventy times seven." 

Why did Jesus say that? Well cuz, Real love is long-suffering and forgiveness is not a matter of mathematics and then done! Forgiveness is more a matter of Holy Spirit who proactively loves us flawed folks.

It is first thought, then a prayer, then an attitude, and then an appropriate action or actions--follow-through. We are not to keep track of how many times we forgive people who rub us the wrong way or offend us.

Why should I a keep a record of wrongs, an account like a stiff, cold, heartless accountant? I don't say count up 476, 477, 478, 479, until I finally arrive at my seventy times seven, and then let go. 

I am sure that Christ figured that Peter ..or us.. would lose count by the time he ..or we.. would get that far.. and then would realize that patience or long-suffering in the area of forgiveness is a matter of Holy Spirit.

A great characteristic of love, the agape kind of charity, is “long-suffering towards others” and then it goes beyond just that on into active kindnesses to them. See the context in 1 Corinthians 13. Kindness follows patience. 

The agape God has and gives.. is very patient. It puts up with flawed people who need some patience. It's taken it from sinners, and taken it, and taken it.. even at Calvary, and what happened there? Jesus basically turned the other cheek, took it, and then prayed for those who put him up on that tree. Why? Well cuz Jesus is long-suffering in relation to sinners like me. Even today. 

Patience takes a choice. Sometimes an attitude alteration. 

Share the Gospel; go slow enough to take the time for each individual. Impact others in this world through the power of God's Word. 

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." —Anne Frank
We persuade people to get right with God through proclaiming His Christ as killed on a Cross and now risen.. yes, by His uplifting red-hot passion inside, by service with gentle invitation, through patience--the fruit of love on display, through an on-goin' trust-building of relationships upon proper application of truth minus spiritual compromise, and through daily living out biblical values. The Spirit gives power for that. 

"And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, 'If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay." And she prevailed upon us." Acts 16:15

"This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.' And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women." Acts 17:2-4

Did you know that metal illness plagues 1 in 4 Americans? It does so be slower to asses or draw firm conclusions. And many people are struggling just to pay their bills or to get near the proper nutrition in their gut.. literally. And many are completely, 100 percent.. totally out of hope.. while our living Hope is there for us all. Jesus waits for us. And people are so different from each other.. stubborn, needy, willful and wayward. Yet, God wants to use you. And love is patient. It's about showing kindness to those who haven't earned it or deserve it. Love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” Love endures past the end down here. (Blog)
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