July 28

Breaking Through to Love, Part 2

I Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

“Though I am successful, though I have a good family, though I’m well respected in my church, though I’m considered a good neighbor, though I found a cool boyfriend or girlfriend, though I am financially secure, though I’m moving up in the company, though I have a successful ministry, BUT HAVE NOT LOVE…. I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.”

Taking that Scripture seriously should give us great pause. Usually we are flowing so well in what we are good or practiced at that we forget it means nothing if we do not love.

To begin to apply that word, let’s look at our own lives, and at our Great Model. Jesus Himself, our Great Example, broke through to love: Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We weren’t asking for His love, and in fact, as a race, we put up every resistance possible to that love. Yet, Praise the Lord, He was persistent and knew how to break through to bring His love to us.

And not just in our lives or when Christ came. God has been breaking through our sinful world from the beginning. When Adam sinned, God covered him and held back judgment. God called Abraham out of an idolatrous world, and created a nation around him. God called Moses out of Egypt, and gave us a law that prepared the way for the Lord. Then God became flesh, and lived among us—interrupting legalism, hatred, prejudice, and pride, and finally, He completely and eternally interrupted sin’s hold on His people.

How about you personally? Has God interrupted your life? If so, think about what things he had to work through to get His love to you: your religious traditions, your pride, your stubbornness, your misperceptions about God, your fears, your anger, your control—what did He work through to bring you His love?

These are the same things we have to work through with others, and we face the same challenges that He did in getting through. It wasn’t easy for Him, and it can be challenging for us.

Breaking through to bring His love took God effort, time, persistence, and pain. It takes the same thing for us to bring His love to others. Really? Must we? Yes: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (John 13:34-35) Jesus sets the example of love—sacrificial, self-denying, and going all the way—and then tells us to follow that example. He fought to get that love through. We’re called to that same fight!

Prayer: Lord, remind me that it wasn’t simple or easy for You to bring Your love to this earth—or to me. If You loved us with effort, sacrifice, and pain, that’s what You call me to do. Thank You that I can draw on Your strength to do that which I can’t do on my own.

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