Love by Frances M. McCrory-Meservy

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear...” (1 John 4:18, NIV)

Love is the most powerful force in the universe.  Fear will stop you in your tracks or cause you to run away; but love will cause you to run into a burning building to rescue whatever or whomever you love. 

Scripture defines love better than anyone else could ever do it. 

1.    Love does no harm to a neighbor. 

2.    Love is how you tell if someone is a Christian because everyone who loves is born of God and knows Him.  Love is the fruit of the Spirit that includes joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Please follow the link for the definitions of each.

3.    Love is patient and will suffer through whatever is needed to reach and help a person.  Patience also excitedly waits on an answer from God. 

4.    Love is not Jealous.  Jealousy is a type of hate.  Jealousy is caused by coveting.  Love does not covet (want something that belongs to someone else).  Love does not commit adultery (a type of coveting). Love, on the other hand, rejoices when someone else receives something good. 

5.    Love does not show off what you have received.  Boasting causes others to be jealous and Love does not want that to happen.

6.    Love is not snobbish.  You do not consider yourself better than anyone else regardless of their station in life (from Kings to the homeless).  You treat them all the same.  Love is without hypocrisy.  You do not pretend to be something you are not.  Do not put someone else down when you do the same things.

7.    Love is not rude.  You respect other peoples rights, privileges and desires.  You are honest and keep your language clean and respectful.  You do not expect anything from anyone.  You know it is OK to ask; but you also accept that it is OK for the person asked to say no.  You do not demand things from others. Respect is given to others even though it may not be earned.

8.    Love is not self centered.  Love thinks of the other person's needs and happiness as well as it's own.  We love others as we love ourselves.  You can love yourself by making sure all your needs (not wants) are taken care of.  Then you can love others with the same love that you have for yourself.  You want others to have everything they need and a lot of what they want.  You strive to make enough money to take care of yourself and your family and have a little left over to share with others.  Love is kindly affectionate to one another.  It's the brotherly/sisterly part of love.  Caring for one another.

9.    Love is not provoked.  Some people deliberately try to provoke others into becoming like they are.  Peer pressure is a huge thing to bullies.  Love overcomes all these things.  You are not provoked into being angry and doing something that is not right with God.  You are kind and gentle even though the person is unruly and pressuring you.  Just let your nos be no and your yeses be yes.  You do not have to strike out at someone to say no.  Just stand your ground and refuse to get angry.

10.    Love thinks no evil.  You never dream up something that would harm someone physically, emotionally or reputational.  You don't imagine the worst about anyone.  Love hates evil things.  Anything that harms another person is evil. 

11.    Love does not rejoice in iniquity.  You do not do anything that undermines society  (breaks the laws of the land).  You are not prejudiced toward anyone regardless of race, religion, politics or anything else.  It does not fib (tell white lies - slight untruths that supposedly do no harm).  When you see someone else doing these things, you are grieved over it and do not rejoice in it.  Love rejoices in the truth. 

12.    Love bears all things.  Bearing is external things.  Something that is put on us by someone else or society in general.  We have the Holy Spirit in us to help us withstand all things and God will not put on us more than we can bear; therefore we can bear anything that comes our way. 

13.    Love hopes all things and hope does not disappoint us.  It keeps us going toward the light at the end of the tunnel.  It helps us not give up.

14.    Love believes all things.  You believe God can do anything because he can.  You do not put Him in a box of what seems possible because He does the impossible.  He can change a person's mind even if that person is not a Christian.  He can topple nations and create new ones.

15.    Love endures all things.  Enduring is personal.  You can endure everything - be it poverty, riches, sickness, or good health.  You do not complain about these things because you do not want others to feel bad for you.

16.    Love never fails because you care about everyone and want the best for them. Gifts and knowledge are earthly and they will pass away; but God is love and He is eternal.  Therefore Love endures forever.  If we love others the way God loves us, we also are eternal.  But, we can only love as God loves if we have God (Holy Spirit) living in us and possessing (allowing Him to control) us.                     

Rom 13:9, 10 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

1 Cor 13:4-8 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

Rom 12:9-21 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Mat 7:17-20 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Gal 5:22, 23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

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