"4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends."-1 Corinthians 13:4-8a Have you ever noticed how the fruits of the Spirit seem to connect in a deep way with the way of Love in 1 Corinthians 13? The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self-control. Think on these fruits that the Holy Spirit produces when reading the above passage in Corinthians. Think also that 1 John 4 tells us that God is Love. When examining our own lives, can we see the fruit of the Spirit, or the attributes of Love evident in our lives? I have to ask myself: is Brian patient and kind, does he envy or is boastful; is he arrogant or rude, or does he insist in his own way; is he irritable or resentful, or does he rejoice in wrongdoing, or does he rejoice in the truth? Does Brian bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things? If we take the words of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, and replace the word "love" with our own name, how would we measure up if we were honest with ourselves? Today, we'll examine just the first two attributes: patience and kindness. What does it mean that love is patient and kind? Think about how you interact with people. How do you react to them when something you don't like occurs? Think now on Jesus before the Sanhedrin, or Herod, or Pilate, or getting chastised and mocked, and beaten by Roman guards, or even on the cross when he cried "forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." What about every time Peter opened his mouth, and Jesus had to correct him, or when the people abandoned Jesus when the teachings got too hard, or when Peter drew his sword and cut Malchus' ear off? Jesus shows us His great love by not destroying us in one word. Jesus loved Peter through His ignorance, loved His tormentors through their ignorance, and loved the mockers and scoffers from the cross by loving them through their ignorance. Jesus' great patience comes in these words "forgive them, for they know not what they do." In our flesh, we selfishly seek what we want, and so we lose our patience. In our sacrificial, Christ-like love, we show Kindness in saying "father forgive them." You see, Love shows patience because it is not about itself. Love is kind because it remembers what it was like before love took over. Church family, if we are to be like Christ, we must be under the law of love. We must show great compassion, weep over Jerusalem, and seek after our brothers welfare before our own. Love does not seek itself, but seeks the welfare of all around it, it sacrifices, yes, even giving its own life should it be required that patience and kindness may be given in place of selfishness. Brothers and sisters, how is our love today? Are we patient and kind, or anxious and stingy? How can you see Christ in your love? Ephesians 4:29-30 English Standard Version (ESV)
29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.