One of the prayers I have been praying for myself is that God would increase the understanding of His love in me, and that I would be able to share that love with others around me. On Wednesday, God gave me the opportunity to talk to and pray with two of the 9th grade girls who had gotten themselves into some trouble. It was awesome that they were willing to share with me, and I definitely felt like God gave me the words to share with them in return, but one thing I was able to remind them of was how much God loved them, so much that He chose them to be His. And His love, and our response to that love, is what really matters.
I've also been reading through the book of 1 Corinthians, and the next night I happened to be in chapter 13, "The Love Chapter." My Spanish/English Honduras Bible is the King James Version, so I felt prompted to write this chapter down "in my own words" seeing what God would speak. Anyways, here's what I came up with:
1 Elegant words mean nothing without love.
2 Spiritual gifts mean nothing without love.
3 Generosity means nothing if it does not come from love.
4 Love is walking alongside people. Love is encouraging and builds people up. Love is content. Love serves others rather than itself, and sees itself as lowly, the worst of all sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).
5 Love is careful to act right. Love gives generously to others. Love is calm and level-headed. Love thinks pure thoughts (Philippians 4:8).
6 Love does not find joy in wrongdoing, injustice, and sin, but finds its joy in open honestly.
7 Love shares burdens (Galatians 6:2). Love always thinks the best of people. Love is positive and optimistic. Love is there for you no matter what.
8 Love is the one thing that will always remain.
9 We only have a part of the picture right now.
10 When Jesus comes, we will have the whole picture, and everything will be made complete.
11 We were all at one time immature in faith, but we are being made mature in love.
12 Now we can see only a hazy vision of God and His plan, but soon we will see clearly. We do not understand all of who God is now, but He understands all of who we are, and we will soon know Him fully.
13 To love is even greater than to have hope or faith because God is love and love comes from God (1 John 4:7-8).
And so for all of you, I pray with Paul in Ephesians 3:19: "May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God."