Friday, February 15, 2013

Love Never Fails

Nice art.  It goes with something I was thinking about when I woke up this morning, the verse in 1 Corinthians 13, that love never fails.  My perception of that has always been that 'love wins' or 'love does not lose'.  So I looked it up this morning to see if that is the true flavor of the word 'lose' in the original language.

What I found was that the kind of love Paul was talking to the Corinthians about was the kind of love that once you have it, you cannot lose it.  This is love that does not fall out of love. It is love that it is not possible to fall down from or fall off of.  It is love that is in such a steady place that it is not possible to fall from a place which one cannot keep this love.  It is love with a power that cannot fall powerless - it will never fall to the ground, or be rendered powerless.

This is the kind of love that the LORD gives us, but it is also the kind of love that He desires us to pursue with people in our lives – that we would be perfected in love. 

When I looked at the rest of verse 8, love was contrasted to prophecy, tongues and knowledge.  In each of those a different kind of "fail" was being expressed in the original language.  The fail these things are another word entirely; this "fail" means something that will cease, something that will be deprived of force, influence, power.

Corinthians 13:8 is the proof text that many use to say that gifts of the Spirit are no longer available to believers.  That is not what I believe and is not my point. 

Rather, in it I see the apostle spelling out our priority system to the Corinthians.  He is saying to believers, of all the spiritual things you pursue, be sure to put learning to love like He loves you at the top of your pursuit.

Everything else has a shelf life, but those who pursue learning how to love like God will take that into eternity with them.

No matter what happens in a person's life, love will not fail to find compassion for others.  When we mature in God’s kind of love will be stirred no matter how someone else has screwed up.  It is a flame that cannot be put out by many waters under the bridge. 
In Ephesians 4:13 Paul tells us about the "perfect" that is coming when the prophecy, tongues and knowledge spiritual gifts will come to the end of their usefulness.  It is the time with the Body of Messiah/Christ has come to the unity of the faith and to the knowledge of the Son of God

We the Messiah’s Body in the earth, as a whole, will understand the LORD's purposes for us so completely that we will genuinely reflect Yeshua's love.  As a whole, we will be the one new man - that maturity into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ/Messiah, which is God's purpose for us. 

We will love one another.  That right there is enough to cause many to believe it is mission impossible.

I believe in the reality that this is what it is all about from God’s perspective. Many of my good and spiritual friends do not believe it will ever be possible for humankind to ever so put on Messiah/Christ as a Body, that this could be possible on this side of eternity.  But I believe that is exactly the testimony of scripture as to God's purposes in Messiah Yeshua.

Often I fail to love the way God loves me but coming up to this level is at least in my sights.  It is the fixed point of my mission horizon.  No matter what the challenges we face in our lives, the opposition is aimed at making our love for others, hence our love for God to fail.  This is the battle, so let us fight the good fight with the God kind of love which is incapable of failing.

Love never fails.

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