It’s been a great pleasure to ride along with you to the last of the virtues in 2 Peter 1:5-8:
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you posses these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus.
So much has already been said about love and truly love is the greatest- every virtue stems from and leads to the doorway of love.
Many times we struggle in our love-walk; people are difficult to live with let alone love. Yet God carefully matches us with grumpy neighbors, lying colleagues, overbearing employers and even annoying family members with an express command to love them.
I learned recently that the secret to loving is living loved- the revelation of God’s love leaves us dripping with love and overflowing to others.
In the atmosphere of love, every other virtue finds true expression and balance is inevitable. When we live the love-life, we will not only please God, we will also spread his fragrance to the people of the earth.
Truth is; we don’t get it all in a day. Sometimes we reply tacky with tacky and wonder why we still crawl at being Christ-like. But remember it’s a journey; we learn, grow, stumble but then we keep going until we attain the measure of the full stature of Christ.
I would love to conclude these series of meditations with an excerpt from Max Lucado’s “A love worth giving”:
“Several years ago someone challenged me to replace the word love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 with my name. I did and I became a liar. Max is patient. Max is kind. Max does not envy, he does not boast, he is not proud…” That’s enough! Stop right there! Max is not patient. Max is not kind. Ask my wife and kids. Max can be an out-and-out cod! That’s my problem.
And for years that was my problem with this paragraph. It set a standard I could not meet. No one can meet it. No one, that is except Christ. Does this passage not describe the measureless love of God? Let’s insert Christ’s name in place of the word love and see if it rings true.
Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind, Jesus does not envy, he does not boast, he is not proud. Jesus is not rude, he is not self-seeking, he is not easily angered, he keeps no record of wrongs. Jesus does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Jesus always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Jesus never fails.
Rather than let this scripture remind us of a love we cannot produce, let it remind us of a love we cannot resist- God’s love.
Now let’s rewrite the passage one more time. Not with your name or Jesus’ name but with both. Read it aloud with your name in the blank and see what you think.
Christ in…..is patient, Christ in…..is kind. Christ in.….does not envy, Christ in.….does not boast, Christ in…..is not proud. Christ in…..is not rude, Christ in…..is not self-seeking, Christ in…..is not easily angered, Christ in…..keeps no record of wrongs. Christ in…..does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Christ in…..always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Christ in…..never fails.”
Wow, I just inserted my name there and it made all the difference in the world!
Christ in Nasa never fails…I love the sound of it and better still, I live in the reality.
PS: Stay tuned, I have a big news coming your way next month!!! You brace yourself, you can’t miss it!