Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 October 2022   1 Corinthians 13:8a.

1 Corinthians 13:8a.        Charity (LOVE) NEVER FAILETH…

Now, today being Wednesday, some of us are having the mid-week blues, while others are catching their second wind, readying themselves for the homestretch journey, down to the finish line of Friday. It’s interesting how people can have different approaches to the same work week. But I guess that’s because the Lord made us all with the same outward kind of body, but different and unique traits within it. So, although we may look the same, we don’t necessarily think or behave the same. 

However, in two important aspects the Lord expects us to be in total agreement and therefore similar behaviour. That’s in our LOVE for Him and our LOVE for our neighbours. Remember when Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment in the law, how He broke them down to just two basic ones: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto the first, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Yes friends, LOVE for God, ourselves and our neighbours encapsulate all the other stuff that we’re supposed to do or not do. Meaning that true LOVE will always lead us to do what is right, so we don’t have to worry about the individual commandments like stealing, adultery, covetousness, murder, taking God’s name in vain, etc. etc. And why is LOVE so wonderful eh? Because it’s like a blanket, it covers everything we do. For as Peter says: ‘And above all things have fervent charity (LOVE) among yourselves: for charity (LOVE) shall cover the multitude of sins.’ (1 Pet. 4:8) 

Now there, Peter was quoting Cousin Sol in Proverbs, where he wisely declared: ‘Hatred stirreth up strifes: but LOVE covereth all sins.’ (Prov. 10:12) And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! LOVE is indeed a mighty tool, used first of all for not committing any wrongdoings against God, and also our fellow man. However, when that inevitably happens, (smile) LOVE should also be invoked in the forgiving of those wrongs. We go to God with repentance, asking for His forgiveness. Then we forgive those that do us wrong. That’s when we behave the most like God; when we forgive others of any wrongs they’ve committed against us. 

And believe me friends, that act of FORGIVING is just as important as LOVE. Why? Because it shows, it manifests LOVE. And Jesus made it quite clear in what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ when He taught us: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt. 6:12) Then, a couple of verses later He spelled it out in black and white, so that there could be no misunderstanding. ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt. 6:14-15) 

It’s as simple and straightforward as that my people. You forgive, and the Lord will forgive you. You don’t forgive, you won’t be forgiven. It’s not rocket science. And you won’t believe how many of us supposed believers refuse to forgive each other, but are quick to run to God for forgiveness. Hn! The Lord must shake His head in amazement whenever that happens.  

Anyway, let’s get back to how LOVE works, or is supposed to work in true believers. As John so wisely says in his first epistle: ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that He LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4: 7-11) 

Wow! What an argument for LOVE! But it makes complete sense. God LOVED us so much that He sent Christ to die for us, so that we could be saved from our sins, therefore we have a responsibility to LOVE God and each other, just the way the Father and Christ LOVE us. And Jesus said it to us in no uncertain terms. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

So you see my fellow saints, the defining trait of discipleship is LOVE for each other. Unfortunately though, that trait is sadly lacking throughout the world, and more sadly within the church of Christ, with all its divisions, disunity and scandalous behaviour. No wonder the world isn’t taking supposed Christians seriously, and many are turning away from God because of the bad examples that we are setting. And all I can do is plead with us, that if we truly LOVE Jesus, to wake up from our slumber, or whatever is causing our blasphemous behaviour and do better. Because that’s the ONLY way others will come to Him. We are His agents and ambassadors on this earth, and as we show our colours, others will respond accordingly. 

And we can’t end this talk on LOVE without sharing this other great treatise on LOVE, this time by Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. He writes: ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (LOVE), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling (clanging) cymbal. 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 (LOVE), I am nothing. 

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (LOVE), it profiteth me nothing. Charity (LOVE) suffereth long, and is kind; charity (LOVE) envieth not; charity (LOVE) vaunteth not itself (does not brag on itself), is not puffed up (arrogant). Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no account of evil); Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth. Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity (LOVE) NEVER FAILETH…’ (1 Cor. 13:1-8) 

Yes friends, there is more, but I chose to stop there because those two simple words, in a nutshell, tells the entire story about LOVE: it NEVER FAILS! Why? Because it is of God; it’s His greatest attribute, and our God, like His amazing LOVE, NEVER FAILS! So please, let’s remember that nuh, let’s remember the overwhelming importance of LOVE in our faith, our world, and our lives, and begin showing it more in our actions. 

And for those of us who are sincerely trying to show LOVE for God and each other, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. So, as one strong and sincere voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Now here’s an important reminder: if we endure right to the end with Jesus, then that future we’ve just talked about will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. Wow! What encouragement to endure! See you then…at the end! (smile) Much LOVE!

…and now abideth…faith…hope…charity (LOVE)…these three…but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE)… (1 Cor. 13:13)

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