Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Advent Week Three: Love ~ Day Three

Today's devotion is from guest blogger, Kris.

I Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Aww, those are “the wedding verses.”

So many people know these scriptures as the wedding verses that even those who don’t claim to read the Bible often use this passage, or a rough translation of it, at their wedding. What is it really saying? Is it only for married couples?

This is a chapter for all of us. These verses are instructions on perfect love. We use the word love a great deal in our society: I LOVE chocolate, I LOVE your hair cut, I LOVE my motorcycle, I LOVE my baby, I LOVE my spouse, I LOVE my ducky. I think you get the point. We have love for so many things! How can we possibly practice perfect love? Where can we go to see examples of perfect love?

I believe we have three very good examples to study when it comes to loving relationships. One is the life of Christ. We have the scriptures to allow us to study his actions, his words and the way he treated people. And even though it is a cliché now, you can still ask, “What would Jesus do?”

Let's have some fun with these next two examples. Consider your family dog. Man’s best friend is a pretty good example of perfect love! Our dogs adore us, worship us and even learn tricks to make us happy. A good dog will wait patiently for you to come home and then will shower you with affection. Often times, even abused dogs will still not react in anger, but instead will simply withdraw. If you forget to walk your dog, he won’t hold a grudge. A dog will forgive and move on. Maybe we should all try to live as the T-Shirt says, “Lord help me to be the person my dog thinks I am!”

Thirdly, watch the movie “March of the Penguins”. There is a scene where the males and females come together and sing for a mate. Yes, sing. People can’t differentiate between individual voices, nor can we understand just what the penguins are looking for. But the male and female penguins know, and that is all that matters. After hours of crooning, a hush falls on the group of birds as each of the new pairs huddle together and snuggle. They go through amazing hardship to take care of their little egg and the resulting baby penguin. They sacrifice for each other and are constantly showing affection for the family group.

They also must work together as a group in order to survive the cold arctic winds, each taking turns, both in the middle of the crowd where it is warmest and at the outside where it is the coldest. Without the group they would not survive. Are we smart enough to learn from a penguin?

Challenge: Pick one part of today’s scripture passage, and practice it all week.

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