Claudia kicks off this month’s Firmly Rooted Fridays with these encouraging words about how God’s love changes everything. Read all the way to the end for a little challenge to get you rooted and growing in the Word!
Love Changes Everything
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
I Corinthians 13:1 ESV
Love changes everything. You don’t have to trust me on this, trust the Bible.
This is the month of love and the grand display of it for all to see. I know some hate it, I get that. The unending possibilities of love that is amazing and disappointments that are crushing are true. Some of you will get that proposal, a dozen red roses, and the chocolates. Some will feel forgotten and alone. Others will get a blender but not the bling. Yep, there is great potential here for profound disappointment.
Yet, the Lord works in the broad strokes of love and in the crevices and nitty-gritty of it as well. The love of God is powerful and there is no loss in the giving and receiving of Christ’s love. Throughout the Word of God, we witness the love of God and how it changed and shaped our world, namely our souls. So, no matter what this month holds for you, remember love changes everything.
The Love Chapter
An entire chapter in the Bible is often referred to as the “love chapter.” I Corinthians 13 begins with the deficits of not loving like Jesus. It speaks to me loudly because it holds the truth so well. No matter what our accomplishments are they are nothing if we do not love like Jesus. It will all be brought to naught if we don’t love. As you continue through this chapter the lack of love becomes a reckoning of the soul.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
I Corinthians 13:8 ESV
Which leads me to a big fat nothing if I don’t have love. The love chapter provides me with what I like to call the ‘big 3’. There is power to unleash, strength to gained, and hope for things to come. Over the next few weeks, I would love to share with you how God has used 1 Corinthians to change me, shape me, and to discipline my wayward heart. Let’s dig in!
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
I Corinthians 13:4-6 ESV
The Power of God’s Love
Power is the ability to do something or act in a particular way. I don’t know about you but, I need the power of the Holy Spirit to love like this. It is impossible for me to be kind and patient when all that is within me wants to be anything but.
When we get it right, we want to shout it out to the masses, “I washed, folded, and put away all of my laundry today!” I wish I could say I am never rude, but honestly, I can be rude, arrogant, and insist on doing things my way, namely when driving down Wards Road. There are times when I am irritable and resentful like when someone doesn’t hang the toilet paper correctly. And I absolutely rejoice when I am able to say, “I told you so.” I am the queen of the ‘get back’! This is all me on any given day, especially Mondays, unless the love of Christ is shed broadly within me.
…and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:5 ESV
I am a witness girlfriend; love changes everything.
What does all of this look like? It looks like me placing my name in place of the word ‘love’ in regard to my husband, children, and the people in my everyday life. It means I will stop and consider my words, actions, and even my thoughts in regard to the power of God’s love at work in me. Trust the Word of God, love will change everything if we allow it to sift our hearts moment by moment in our everyday lives.
Here is a bit of my self-talk, “You want to do what when you retire, seriously.” But Claudia will be patient and rejoice. “We are moving where?” Claudia is kind with her words and will not be rude. This is my real-life situation. After my husband’s retirement, we bounced around a bit before we finally settled in Lynchburg, VA for my husband to become a residential student to complete his post-graduate work. I had zero desire to live as a poor college student at the ripe age of 50, but we did it and I survived until I began to trust God and started to thrive. Yet in the in-between time, the power of God’s love carried me.
God’s Love Carries You
Now, 3 years later, my guy is a professor at Liberty University and we just bought our first home in Lynchburg, VA. I had no desire to do any of this, but the power of God’s love has left me wanting in good ways. I forgive in big ways and I trust the hand of God when I can’t see the end. I believe the impossible once again and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that no matter what happens I will be rescued by a good and gracious God. The power of God’s love changes everything.
I encourage you to read through the ‘love chapter’ often over the course of this month. Maybe even write it out with your name in place of the word love. Ground yourself in the Word of God as you walk through the next few weeks. Looking forward to seeing you back here soon!
For more Ways to Love with Fresh Faith check out Ginger’s post HERE.