Love is patient, love is kind.
God’s love is like a diamond. It has many facets to it. It is pure and perfect. He calls us to love with this kind of love. In order to love like He calls us to we need to understand the love He calls us to.
As we walk through this passage we will turn this diamond and shine light through every facet of it to see the richness and beauty within it.
Borrowing from one of my fellow teachers and dear friend in ministry, I want to help us see how we can "manifest" these facets of God’s love in our lives.
Again, we need to define the terms used so we have a better understanding of agape love.
Manifest: Apparent to the senses, especially that of sight or to the mind: evident, obvious; clear, plain. To reveal.
When something is manifested through my life it becomes second nature to me. These things do not come by trying but by training. It is an intentional decision on my part to allow these facets of God’s love to flow from my life.
If we are walking in close fellowship with God, learning from His Word, and living through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it should be clear, obvious, plain and evident of our love for God. Our lives should reveal God’s love to others.
Paul gives us some very specific aspects of what God’s love is.
God’s love is patient.
Patient: To be of a strong spirit; not to lose heart. To persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortune and troubles. To be patient in bearing offenses and injuries from others. To be longsuffering and slow to anger.
God calls us to be patient with everyone. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 “And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” Notice that our command is to be patient with everyone, not just those who are easy to be patient with.
God calls us to be patient in waiting on His promises. (Hebrews 6:9-15). So many times we can become impatient with God and want to hurry the plan along. We might fall into the lie of Satan that God has somehow forgotten us. God never forgets us or the promises He makes. His promises always come in His perfect timing. Study the promises of God and watch how He works so patiently with us and the blessings that comes when we wait patiently on Him.
God does not ask us to do something He does not also do. God is patient with us (2 Peter 3:9).
How do we manifest patience in our lives?
Trust in God, His Word, and His promises.
Be intentional about the words you choose and the actions you take. The more we train ourselves to rely on God the more worn that path of patience becomes in our lives.
God's love is kind.
Kind: To be mild, gentle, good natured or benevolent. To be sympathetic and tenderhearted.
From generation to generation the teaching of kindness has dwindled. Our society is so self-centered and selfish that this leads to kindness being a lost quality.
When we read the parable of the Good Samaritan we see this example of kindness. The priest and the Levite both pass by on the other side, but the Samaritan we read “took pity” on the man beaten and left for dead. He showed kindness to this stranger and cared for him.
How do we manifest kindness in our lives?
Trust in God.
When we think of others before ourselves it is hard not to show kindness. When we see someone in need be kind and help out. Every day we are faced with countless opportunities to show kindness to others.
Today, how can you manifest patience and kindness in your life? I challenge you to ask God to give you the opportunity to practice the training for this kind of love in your life. I caution you, when you ask God will answer. This kind of love is impossible to do on our own, so I encourage you to pray for God’s strength to allow you to love like He loves.
Lord, You are so patient and kind to me. I know I take for granted just how patient You are. Help me to remember when I am feeling impatient or unkind that my words and actions will reveal my heart’s intentions. May I always have a heart to love the way You called me to love. May I see all of the opportunities you place before me today to manifest your patience and kindness to others.