11. Love rejoices in truth
"Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:18, NIV.
"The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy." Proverbs 12:22, NIV.
"But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one." Matthew 5:37, NKJV.
As the saying goes, "actions speak louder than words", and it is correct. Anyone can tell you they love you, say how much they care, but if their actions are proving otherwise than the words that are spoken are lies. We are called, as children of God, to love as He loves, to demonstrate to others through our actions and words. Therefore, make sure what you say is honest and truthful, and remember ALL lies are from the devil as he is the father of lies.
12. Love protects
"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you." John 15:12-15, NIV.
"But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one." 2 Thessalonians 3:3, NIV.
"How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of Your wings." Psalm 36:6-8, NIV.
Protection, what a beautiful gift. What does protection do? It keeps you safe from harm, it comforts you by its presence, it seeks your good above all. God protects us from evil, He wraps us in His arms and shields us with His love. As a mother bird spreads her wings over her babies, so God spreads His arms over His people. When you are protected, you are strengthened, you feel safe, secure, loved, peaceful, and calm. Are we protecting others? Are we keeping others safe from harm? Are we loving in a way that brings safety, rest, security, and peace? Let us demonstrate this beautiful gift of protection to others.
13. Love trusts
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV.
"But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me." Psalm 13:5-6. NIV.
Trust is something that is earned or worked upon. When you trust someone you are believing them and completely depending on them. We can trust God because He is perfect, His love is trustworthy and true. As humans we let others down, we make mistakes and fail. However, are we living in a way that brings trust or honors trust? Are we speaking the truth, living truth, and demonstrating to others acts of integrity and honesty for them to trust us? Worldly "trust" is only a deceiver and a disguise. It cannot stand the test of faith, it fails to uphold godly character and respect. Godly trust, is pure in its intentions, it is faithful in its actions and words, it promotes unity and righteousness. Are we being trustworthy to God and others?
14. Love hopes
"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5, NIV.
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." 1 Peter 3:15-16, NIV.
Hope is the joyful anticipation of something or someone. To hope means to look forward to, and not to be bitter or have a negative cloud over our heads. We should be hopeful for all God has done for us and shown us, all He will do and has said. When we focus on God, our hope is steadfast and is secured to the Rock. Does our love demonstrate this kind of hope? Do we bring joy and anticipation to others and for others? Do we have a glow about us that is bursting forth from the inside of our hearts because of the hope Jesus Christ has given us?
15. Love perseveres
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity." Proverbs 17:17, NIV.
Perseverance is not easy, it takes work, time, and energy. To persevere means to continue, to keep going, to hold on. We are to stay strong, to remain steadfast, to be bolted down and anchored to Jesus. Love keeps going, even when life seems dark and hopeless. Love continues to find the light in the tunnel and the rainbow in the storm. Love overcomes, it conquers, it prevails. Are we making sure our love is pure love, a healthy, a determined love? Is it one that builds others up, promotes godliness, and presses on? Worldly "love", aka lust, destroys, kills, promotes filth and impurity, and fails/gives up. We are called to truly love and to persevere. If we see someone in true need, we are called to help them not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually. If someone is going down the wrong path, we need to lovingly do our best to help them wake up from their blindness and walk with God again. If someone does not know Jesus, we need to demonstrate His love to them and be a light to guide them to God. However, it is not our responsibility or in our control to change someone. Only God can change the human heart, and the person has to be willing to be changed because God will never force Himself on anyone. So be honest and demonstrate God's love, but always remember that God is in control.
16. Love never fails
"Do everything in love." 1 Corinthians 16:14, NIV.
"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. " Proverbs 3:3-4, NIV.
Love never fails... how wonderful and reassuring it is to know that God's love for us is an unending, everlasting, forever love. We have done nothing to deserve His love, which makes this eternal love even more glorious and amazing! How are we demonstrating lasting love to others? We are called to do everything in love, our actions, words, heart, and spirit should be filled with love and pouring out to others. The way to have this true love is to be close to God and to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We need to be seeking God first, reading His word to hear His voice, obeying His will, praying daily, and actively pursuing Him.
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13, NIV.
Let us love with true love, a pure, holy, godly love. Let us be filled with love and have it overflowing out of us so that when people see us they see Jesus in us. Let us love others as God loves and love God above all else. Love is the greatest, love covers sin, it is an action and choice we need to make every day to love others, to love ourselves (unselfishly), and to constantly be growing and preparing ourselves for Jesus' return. Tell someone today that you love them, but more importantly, show someone today that you love them.