Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June 11, 2015

"Love is patient." I Corinthians 13:4

During my senior year at Indiana Wesleyan University, several of my teammates on the IWU baseball team heard the Kansas City Royals were hosting a tryout in a nearby town.

Each of these guys was good enough to entertain a realistic dream of playing professional ball. Each guy could hit for average, could hit for power, could hit with men on base, and could play his position. So, when they headed for the tryout they went with high hopes!

I was anxious to hear how each of them would fare! 

Later, I found their big league dreams had come a to sudden, rude and unexpected end.

Here's what happened. The scouts lined up the prospects and timed them in the 40 yard dash. If they didn't run the 40 yards under a certain time they were immediately dismissed from the tryout.

They thought they had what it took to play pro baseball. So did I. But despite all their skills, they lacked the required speed. No speed, no chance.

Likewise, in the realm of faith, love is the cut line for believers. If you have love you have a chance but no love, no chance.

With that in mind the question becomes, "What is love?" or,  "How do I know if I have love?"

Paul, writing to the Christians at Corinth clearing lays out the qualities that give evidence of love. The first quality of godly love is patience.

If you have patience, you have godly love. If you don't, you don't.

Like my baseball buddies who thought they had what it took to make it to the next level, Paul candidly writes: "If I speak in the tongues of mean or of angels, but do no have love (patience), I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but I do not have love (patience), I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love (patience), I gain nothing."

Today is a tryout. Your patience will be tested at some point today. How you handle it will reveal whether you have patience or not. 

It you do, you make the cut line for the evidence of God's love. If you don't, you won't.

June 10, 2015

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails." I Corinthians 13:4-8

This verse is read at many weddings, even at weddings of nominally religious couples, because it is so beautiful and majestic!

If any couple could live up to the standards of this lofty list of loving virtues they would certainly have an amazing marriage!

For that couple to attain this idealistic standard it would require them to NEVER fail to love each other! To never fail in their love for their partner would require them to ALWAYS be patient, ALWAYS be kind, ALWAYS protect, ALWAYS trust, ALWAYS hope, ALWAYS preserve and NEVER be envious, NEVER boast, NEVER be proud, NEVER dishonor, NEVER be self-seeking, NEVER be easily angered, NEVER hold a grudge and NEVER rejoice in evil!

Who DOES love that way!

God does - ALWAYS!

He loves YOU that much!

He wants you to receive that love so you can benefit from a love that never fails!
And He wants you to allow Him love others like that - THROUGH YOU!

Isn't that GREAT news!

Is that how you love?