Greedy Gratitude 30 Day Devotional

Day 10 - LOVE

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

LOVE is found in the beautiful name of Jesus. Image created by Isaac Taleno.

LOVE is found in the beautiful name of Jesus. Image created by Isaac Taleno.

When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 MSG

LOVE. This is one of the most beautiful passages in the Word of God. Instead of hearing about a concept of love, we see it mapped out right before our very eyes. And, this particular translation brings it to life with descriptive and colorful language that brings it to the heart. Where would we be without LOVE? Christ defines this LOVE for us in the flesh. Paul’s description here paints a picture of our Jesus coming into the world as a baby and dying for us on the cross as a man. We see it fleshed out as he sat with a woman by a well who had been through several marriages and bad relationships (John 4:1-42). We see this unfold when he touched the eyes of a blind man so he could see (John 9:1-12). His love reaches out even to the religious as he shares about the truth of God’s plan with the Pharisee Nicodemus (John 3:1-21). We see this LOVE described in the eyes of Christ as he pardons a criminal hanging next to him moments before he dies for us on the cross (Luke 23:23-43). What is this LOVE? We serve a God who is more than just a cold statue, or a cross hanging around our neck, or a song written that we sing. This LOVE we experience everyday in our lives that is Christ-centered is real, raw and borderless. It finds us in the deepest of our mess and wraps around our hearts. It seeps into our critical thinking and softens our hearts to see that without it we would be empty. It fills our hearts with hope even in the midst of the most hopeless situation. It finds us in a broken mess and doesn’t keep score with the sins we have done. 

This is EXTRAVAGANT LOVE. Going beyond my worst thoughts. Embracing me even when I’m trembling in fear. Finding me when I have run away in my heart and feeling lost…alone. 

ACTION STEP: Allow this prayer to echo in your life today taken from the song, “Broken Whole” from 2911worship. Read it aloud several times and allow the power of God’s love in your life to soak in…

“What is this love, that you would break my fall with grace, made into flesh to take my place? What is this love trading Heaven for my shame, on your back a world of pain? Lord, you never miss a piece. What is this grace, that forges beauty from the blemish in me, and makes a rose from my scattered debris?  Oh, You never piece. And what is this hope, a Savior's promise that would vacate a tomb? Then take my heart and turn it into a home? Oh, you never miss a piece. You were a man accused and pierced for me. For this shattered mess to be set free. That love would bloom from an open wound and die for me.All broken things made, your love makes me whole…all broken things made whole. Thank you,  Amen.”

Share your EXTRAVAGANT GRATITUDE to God regarding His LOVE that makes you whole...