Rebecca Duvall

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Love

StrawberryThe Fruit of the Spirit this week is Love. I’ve chosen a strawberry since it’s often used to represent love due to its shape that’s similar to a heart.

When you love someone, their happiness is important to you. You behave in a kind and caring way toward them and wish to protect and support them, in a selfless manner.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.1 Corinthians 13:1-3

The above scripture tells us that it’s pointless to say, know or do anything without love. Love is the key to making an impact for the Kingdom of God. What are ways you can demonstrate love in the way you speak, through what you know or how you react?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

These verses tell us, as discussed in an earlier post (Godly Love), what love, in the eyes of God, look like. I use this scripture as a checklist to see where I’m struggling (usually in multiple areas). It helps me know what I should be praying for. I find myself having a hard time not keeping a record of people’s wrongs, which then causes me to have a hard time trusting. What aspect of love are you struggling with right now?

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:8-13

This piece of scripture opens with the statement ‘love never fails’ and ends by telling us that the three gifts from the Holy Spirit to remain are faith, hope and love, with love being the most important to have. The speculations, words and knowledge of man will fade away, but our faith, hope and love in God will never fail us. This makes me want to focus my attention more on the Word of God, than of man, because the Bible is the key to our hope and faith, which will lead us to a love that never fails.

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for Your Word, and the guidance it gives with the help of the Holy Spirit. I pray we would love You and others, even those we see as enemies, the way You love us, Amen.

Friends

friends fingersMost of us have different kinds of friends.  Those we’ve known our entire life and others we’ve just recently met.  Some friends we only knew as a child.  Others we’ve known for our adult life.  Some friends were only around for a particular season in our life.  Some friends know our deepest secrets and others only know about part of us.  Like how we are at work, church, school, or when around our family.

I think friends are a great blessing given to us by God.  Sometimes God places people in our life because we have something they need.  Other times it’s because we need something from them.  Sometimes this turns into long lasting relationships.  Some friends you see or talk with often.  Other friends you may think of often, but only communicate with them once or twice a year.  The great thing about friends is once they are your friend they will always have a special place in your heart.

A true friend shares their heart, speaks truth and acts in a loving manner.  A true friend also listens to your fears, failures and trails without judgment. 1_Corinthians_13

Being a friend can be hard!  It’s easy to love them when they’re being kind to you, but what about when they say or do something that hurts your feelings or the feelings of someone you love?  It usually makes me angry and I want to make them feel the hurt and disappointment they made me feel.  God says we are not to be easily angered or delight in evil.

It’s normal to have the feelings of anger and disappointment when we’re hurt.  It’s what we do with our feelings that matter.  So how do you change your negative feelings to a positive or neutral reaction?  When I find myself getting angry or upset I try my best to pause and call out to God.  I believe when I do that the Holy Spirit steps in and guides me through the situation.  The Holy Spirit enables me to be patient, loving, hopeful and persevere regardless of the circumstances.God give people you need sign

A few years ago I was confronted by a lady in front of my children’s school just as classes started.  She was very upset with the way I had handled a situation.  She felt I had stepped in on her territory and wasn’t happy about it.  She was talking loudly, waving her hands about and not saying very nice things.  My first reaction was to yell back and tell her how stupid I thought she was being.  Instead of acting on that I said a quick prayer in my head asking God to help me stay calm, and response in a loving manner only speaking truth.  By the end of the conversation, about 15 minutes later, we were both smiling, hugging and even made a lunch date for later that week.  I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful for being able to call upon the Holy Spirit to help us through those moments.

How has the Holy Spirit enabled you to be loving and kind in a difficult situation?

My prayer for us today ~ Lord, thank you for the Holy Spirit that dwells within us.  I pray we each take the opportunity to call upon the Holy Spirit when faced with difficult situations, Amen

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