Scripture: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Observation: All spiritual gifts are based on love. The love, however, is God's love working through me not my love. Gift usage gets backwards when I expect God to empower my expressions or ideals of love. Most of the time my idea of love is way below God's idea. Jesus is the standard of love, and I don't even come close. Allowing God to use me to bless someone is about His love coming through me. It is about His love being revealed in me. All too often our expressions of love are about glorifying self serving ourselves. We do something then want everyone to see the great thing we did. We are serving our sin nature not God.
Application: I need wisdom and discernment in my gift usage. I must stop asking God to empower my weak idea of love and allow Him to work in me how He wants to work in me. I can only learn about true love as I put my self-promotion and selfish ideals aside and allow pure love to come through me. Maybe this is what Jesus meant about taking up my cross daily.
Prayer: Lord help me to learn to love by allowing You to love through me today. Wake me up whenever I try to get you to empower my ego-driven efforts. Help me be a humble servant in which the Master can be seen working. Let my actions today reveal Your love to someone!
(Repost from 10/27/13)