April 5, 2018
1 Corinthians 13:4-7… Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrong doing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
This is a familiar passage of scripture. I have heard it quite often at weddings. And I have sat in congregations when the pastor told us to read it and insert our name in place of the word, ‘love.’ line 2 reads; “Jim does not insist on his own way, Jim is not arrogant or resentful.” I can say that mostly it is true. But not always. There have been, and still are, times when I don’t respond in love. When I read it this morning, I was reminded that this is a picture of love and therefore a picture of God. On that, we can depend. Again, the second line is troublesome, “God does not insist on his own way.” Jesus is the only way to God. We know that; God established it. We have watched, through the ages, as people have chosen to not believe God. We assume they went to hell when they died. God allows us that choice; He does not insist on His way. Some people, who do not know God, are not interested in eternal life. They don’t want their present events to continue forever. I have even known people who were intrigued by hell; they thought they would like it there. God comes into that scenario with His offer of eternal life with Him. If you don’t know Him, you could think, “Who needs that?” The joy of eternal life is God. “Living forever” is not the joy; living with God is. For that reason, we understand that eternal life begins when we are born again. We don’t have to wait to die physically; we can die emotionally and begin living with God. His input is joyful and peaceful. When we are focused on the good things this life has to offer, we can be very unimpressed with God’s input. But, when we are focused on God’s input, we find ourselves very unimpressed with what this world has to offer. I have ended up here; I did not plan to end up here. But, it is a subject I have been pondering lately. Are the things of the world shadows as I pursue truth or is the truth a shadow as I pursue life? I have found that when I focus on one thing, everything else becomes blurred. So, what are you focused on?