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Welcome to LOVE Part 2 of the “God’s Design” Series

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“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”

We pride ourselves on so many things, yes even in the church. Pride is so subtle and can sneak up on us when we least expect it. But here in this passage, pride is warded off by love. REAL LOVE. The God kind of love.

All of the gifts and even God’s gift come in last without love. Love is the primary way of life for those who follow Jesus. God IS love (1 John 4:8). How many people do you know who actually live this way? Do you live this way? I still have a long way to go.

Pride is the enemy of love because it’s rooted in fear. We cannot live in love and pride at the same time. It’s impossible. Pride is selfish, boastful, touchy, demanding and hateful. Pride exists for our own selfish desires. It does NO good. So as we look at the rest of this chapter, we’ll be able to recognize that loves calls us to cast off pride and live a whole new way of life!

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“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

Truly the Word of God is a mirror where we behold the glory of God and it’s scriptures like these in my own life that reveal, I’m no where close. But, thank God for the Holy Spirit who transforms me day by day and I go from glory to glory! (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV)

I want to park in the beginning of verse 4 for a moment: Love is patient and kind. Most of us who’ve experienced relational trauma and abuse know that it was anything but kind. It was violent, selfish, confusing and emotionally and physically painful. Kind was not an experience we had and if we did, it was used as a manipulation tool for our abuser to perpetrate more abuse.

I believe, with all my heart, that kindness is the most healing and nurturing thing we can do for another person. But most of us don’t have a clue what it is, much less doling it out. My favorite stories in the gospels are ones where Jesus displayed kindness to the diseased, broken and sinners. He was moved with compassion for people. He was moved by our lostness, brokenness and our sin to do something. To treat us a certain way, to give us a gift that would bring wholeness. That “something” was to lay down his life.

Every motivation of His heart was for the good of someone else. That kind of love is what Song of Solomon describes in chapter 8: 6-7, “as strong as death”! This is not human love, this is divine. Only God can love like this but so can we now with the Holy Spirit. I cannot attempt this in my own power.

Paul even said in Ephesians 3:18-19 (NLT) that it takes power to grasp the love of God. “ And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (Emphasis mine)

God’s love is unsurpassed! Transcendent! Miraculous! That is the only love that can heal us and those we love. This is the love we must allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate in us. However, It must heal us first before we can pass it along.

If we are going to cultivate patience and kindness we must first extend it to ourselves and allow our souls to receive it from God. If you’re unsure how God sees you, here is a great exercise: Read 1Cor. 13:4-7 out loud to yourself and every where the word “love” is used replace it with the word “God”. Read it over and over and let it minister to those broken places in your soul. If God is love as 1 John 4:8 says, then God and love in this scripture are interchangeable.

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It’s vital that we practice kindness with ourselves because more often than not you have the accuser (Rev. 12:10) in your ear speaking very unkind things about you. Or you have the abuser’s voice in your head. Those are arguments that are not in line with the Word that you must learn to cast down! 2 Corinthians 10:5 “….casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

Healing requires us to break the default setting in our minds and our actions that we used for survival in trauma that no longer serve us. (Romans 12:2) This is a huge challenge, but it is possible. Yes, it is possible. It takes intentional work on your part and yielding to the Word and Holy Spirit, but all things are possible with God!

I encourage you to take the exercise I gave you above and do it every day for the next week. In fact…..I dare you! This is a love dare that will change your life!! Stay tuned next week where we’ll continue with LOVE by going further into 1 Corinthians 13.

Much love always, Crisie 💕

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[DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed counselor or therapist of any kind nor is this devotional an attempt to provide those services. The contents and suggestions in this devotional are results of my own personal experience with these issues and are not meant to be professional advice or therapy. This devotional is not a substitute or replacement for regular therapy or the use of mental health resources. If the content here causes triggers, please see your regular mental health professional. Any content applied to your life along with any consequences is of your own volition.]

[If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, available 24/7. or visit https://www.thehotline.org/ ]

If you are caught in or suspect a trafficking situation in your community, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1 (888) 373-7888 or 233733 (Text "HELP" or "INFO") 24 hours, 7 days a week Languages: English, Spanish and 200 more languages Website:humantraffickinghotline.org

Copyright (C) 2021 Crisie Hutchings. All rights reserved.


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