Monday, December 6, 2010


Last Monday I went to Bible study at Mike L's house.  Tonight I went back.  Both times we focused on "God's Kind of Love" with scriptures mainly from First John 2-5 and First Corinthians 13, with a look at other verses including Galatians 5:22 where, in listing the "fruit of the Spirit" we hear about love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness... etc., all things that we do not come up with ourselves but that come out of a saving and sanctifying relationship with God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Another word for "patience" (Greek makrothymeo) is "long-suffering."  As we discussed that, we encountered First Corinthians 15:8 where we read "Love never ends."  The sense of the Greek word for "ends" (pipto) means that it will not stop trying, it won't give up.  I've heard the verse translated "Love never fails," but that makes it sound like love always "succeeds."  And that, frankly, in this broken world, just isn't true.  There are many times when love, God's kind of love, is rejected and rejected and rejected, over and over and over again.

That's where I resonate with the word "long-suffering."  God's love for us, and the love he pours into our hearts, it does not always succeed in the short or long term.  It can be rejected.  But that same love, rejected or not, does not give up.  It keeps on going, even when it needs to suffer long.  That's the love we learn of in Jesus, who died for the worst of sinners.  Even for me.

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