Proverbs 20 10-20-22

The ironic thing about AGAPE love is that the more you love yourself, the greater your capacity to love others greatly.

12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12 [known as the Golden Rule]

The culture of God is explained in 1 Corinthians 13, but not like we think. It is presented in how we love. Why? Because God is love (1 John 4:8). Let’s continue with verse 7-10,

It [AGAPE love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 

AGAPE love: Selfless, sacrificial, unearned, and gracious godly love.

  • Selfless love always protects. A person who protects, cares; likewise, a person who cares, protects. Placing the other person first is natural for a person who cares. It’s the God-thing to do.
  • Sacrificial love always trusts. We take people at their word and trust them to keep their word. In doing so, we encourage them to do the right thing. When they don’t, we may suffer, but we trust in the Lord to take care of us and to give them another chance.
  • Unearned love always hopes. As in trusting, we hope that others will heed the Spirit’s voice and obey His commands. We know that eventually, love wins (in our lives and hopefully in theirs), so we just keep loving. Our hope is in Him.
  • Gracious love always perseveres. We know people will fail because we are one of those people and we fail. So, we persevere when they do, pray for them, and help them to see the error of their ways. We point them to Christ; He takes it from there.
  • God’s love never fails. When we love His way, we never fail to be like Him; He never fails to reveal Himself through us; they never fail to see Him for who He is: Love.
  • Prophecies will ultimately be fulfilled. Tongues (languages) will ultimately disappear as we learn to hear with spiritual ears. (Partial) knowledge will ultimately disappear as we see Jesus face to face and know Him fully. We will be complete in Christ.

The culture of God is treating others as we ourselves want to be treated (Matthew 7:12), it means to “love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Matthew 22:39). Both verses end with them fulfilling the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 22:40 says, “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commands” (the first one was to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength”). If we love as God loves, we would never–I’m getting ahead of myself. That’s tomorrow’s lesson.

Abba, help us to see with spiritual eyes and hear with spiritual ears. May we eat the bread of service and drink the wine of sacrifice. In doing so, we give up our lives to You in order to receive life from Your Son. Teach us to love as You do, Abba. Amen.

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