Sunday October 8th 2017
Memorise: But God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Read: 1st Corinthians 13:1-8 (KJV)
13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
13;6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
Bible in one year: 1st Corinthians 7-9, Daniel 4:19-27, Hymn Sing hymn 2
Today’s memory verse gives us a glimpse of what God’s kind of love is all about. This scripture reveals one truth about God’s kind of love, which is that it is unconditional. God loves unconditionally, and His love prompts Him to forgive unconditionally! If God had chosen to wait until we become saints before extending His saving love to us, no one would be saved. Some years ago, one of my sons illustrated the unconditional nature of God’s love. In his place of work, his secretary did something unprofessional, and so he moved him out of his office to another role within the department. While suspending this man from his role as secretary, my son strangely instructed him to hold on to the computer he had been working with, and told him to retain all the files that were on it. Some months later, he reinstated this fellow to his old role as secretary. Surprised at his reinstatement, this secretary was initially not comfortable at his former desk, but my son reassured him that he had been forgiven. He said to him, “I had given you even before you asked for forgiveness. Why do you think I told you to hold on to the computer and keep all the files? I forgave you and restored you even as I was suspending you from office. I planned your reinstatement right from that day, and I didn’t want you to return and start from scratch, which is why I left the computer with you even though you were no longer my secretary.” This secretary was dumbfounded.
In today’s Bible reading, we are enlightened on the characteristics of God’s kind of love. The Holy Spirit in these verses first declares the importance of this kind of love, without which life is worthless and meaningless. He then begins to list the characteristics of God’s love. Only God’s type of love suffers long and shows unusual kindness. God is sovereign and all-powerful, so He needs not envy anyone, neither does He need anybody to pump up His ego. God’s love contains no evil (James 1:13). Contrary to some people’s perception, God’s kind of love does not condone or rejoice in iniquity. Some pastors think that the best way of showing God’s kind of love is not to rebuke sinners. Nothing could be further from the truth! God’s kind of love is what Paul instructed Timothy to demonstrate in fulfilling his ministry, by reproving, rebuking and exhorting those he was ministering to with all longsuffering and doctrine (2nd Timothy 4:2). My advice to you is that you embrace God’s love as personified by His Son, Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of the whole world.
Father, let Your love be shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit in Jesus Name.