In the background I listen to my son sing an old familiar song. Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.
A few days later I flip the pages in my Bible and open to 1 Corinthians. A passage about love catches my attention, probably because it’s highlighted in orange. I’ve read it more times than I can remember, yet I’m glued to the words on the page. I long to more fully soak in their meaning…
The words challenge me.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.
-1 Corinthians 13: 3-8 (MSG)
To love like that, I think to myself—starts with knowing that we are loved like that.
Jesus loves me this I know.
He patiently waits for us to learn the lessons. We mess up, but His love picks us back up and His grace moves us forward. He persistently cheers us on because He is for us. He doesn’t want not one of us to perish. Not one.
He is the Everlasting King but boasting is not His language. The very core of Him is humble and giving. His hands were pierced with nails that He didn’t deserve. He bled and He died and He selflessly gave—because He loves us more deeply than our minds can comprehend.
When we come to Him and confess our sins, He is quick to forgive. As far as the east is from the west, so far Has He removed our sins from us. He doesn’t keep record of our wrongs—no, to Him we are His beautiful, spotless Bride.
He defeated evil not with hate but with sacrificial, perfect love. Love that gives us the promise of hope and eternal life. Love that is saturated in truth—the sort of truth that has the power cast out fear and set captives free.
His love is never ending and it will not die because He is not dead. He is our Risen Redeemer and His love never, never fails.
Even when our lives are messy, His love remains constant. Even when we just don’t understand, His love remains constant. Even when chaos breaks loose, His love remains constant. Even when the darkness tries to steal our joy, His love remains constant.
When the sun is shining, when the storm clouds roll in, when the smiles glow, and when the tears flow—His love remains constant.
His love is the promise we can cling to always because love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Sometimes we feel like quitting, but He doesn’t quit on us.
Love never fails because He never fails.
He didn’t come down off that Cross until it was finished. And the truth about love is that…
For God so loved the world that He gave and because He gave, so can we. Love does and it gives and is willing to go outside of the safe zone.
We were designed to be filled with His love and to overflow with His love. He doesn’t force Himself on us, but instead waits for us to to say yes to Him—to His love. And when we invite Him in, His love comes and lives in us and changes us and empowers us to love extravagantly so that others can join in the chorus…
Jesus loves me this I know.
As I listen to those sweet words flow from the mouth of my child, so simple and yet so powerful…
I think to myself—yes God. Thank you for loving us like that. Stir in us a passion to love like that. Whatever the cost, and we know there is one—give us the courage to love like that.