Add Love

I started this series on 2 Peter last year.  I didn’t plan for it to take so long to complete, but other thoughts came to my mind to share.  I also have increased responsibilities at school.  Sorry for the long silence, but I will now finish this series.  I will also do a post listing all the posts in this series.  Here is the last and greatest virtue to add to our lives – love.

 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence,
in your faith supply moral excellence,
and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
and in your knowledge, self-control,
and in your self-control, perseverance,
and in your perseverance, godliness,
  and in your godliness, brotherly kindness,
and in your brotherly kindness, love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing,
they render you neither useless nor unfruitful
in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted,
having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent
to make certain about His calling and choosing you;
for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;

for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
will be abundantly supplied to you.
2 Peter 1:5-11

Love is not an emotion, but an attitude.  It is an attitude of the will based on the determination to love as God loves.  God’s love is a lasting love, an eternal unending love.  The best description of love is found in 1 Corinthians 13.

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love,
I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
  If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge;
and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.
  And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor,
and if I surrender my body to be burned,
but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient,
love is kind and is not jealous;
love does not brag and is not arrogant,
  does not act unbecomingly;
it does not seek its own,
is not provoked,
does not take into account a wrong suffered,
  does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails;
but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away;
if there are tongues, they will cease;
if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
  For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
  but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
When I was a child,
I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child;
when I became a man,
I did away with childish things.
  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face;
now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
  But now faith, hope, love, abide these three;
but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13 verses show us the actions of love that need to be seen in our lives.  It is a maturing process; we learn how to love and to show these actions in our lives.  Children are selfish.  They don’t think about the consequences or the future or how their words and actions will affect others.  They are irresponsible.  These are the actions that we do away with as we mature.

One way to help us to see the actions that reflect love is to look at the opposites.  Doing that can be a help us to see if we are truly reflecting the attributes of genuine love. Here are the opposites of love:

Impatience, unkindness and jealousy
bragging, boastful, and thinking that I am better than others;
acting in all kinds of inappropriate ways;
interested only in myself;
being easily frustrated and angered;
keeping track of things done to me and not forgetting those real and imagined wrongs;
being happy when a person gets punished;
not interested in the godly response to things;
having and attitude of giving up or “can’t take it anymore”;
not believing that God can change things for good;
seeing no help for the future

 When I was a child,
I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child;
when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
1 Corinthians 13:11

We can mature with God’s help and show genuine love.  Since love is a decided attitude, we can chose to love people.  This is what makes it possible to obey God’s command to love our enemies and to not hold grudges.  This is why love is a mark of Christianity.  We absolutely cannot have this love without God’s help.  It is worth having.  It is worth giving up all those ugly thoughts that we might have about other people and allowing God’s love to start filling our lives.

 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another,
even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
  By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.
John 13:34-35

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven;
for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good,
and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?
Matthew 5:43-46a

 Let all that you do be done in love.
1 Corinthians 16:14

The best demonstration of love

But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish,
but have eternal life.
John 3:16

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