Love conquers all! Follow your heart! All you need is love. (Am I dating myself?)
Are these statements true? Does love conquer all? Should we follow our hearts? Is it really all we need? Well, you probably already know where I’m going, so let’s cut to the chase: “Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:8). Agape never fails. That would be the kind of love that God has for us. Adam Clarke says this, “this love never falls off, but bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things, and while it does so it cannot fail; it is the means of preserving all other graces; indeed, properly speaking, it includes them all; and all receive their perfection from it. Love to God and man can never be dispensed with. It is essential to social and religious life; without it no communion can be kept up with God; nor can any man have a preparation for eternal glory whose heart and soul are not deeply imbued with it.” Spurgeon, as only he can say, says, “it is the unwithering flower.”
If you have been married for more than 10 minutes you probably experienced times when you felt love had failed, either yours or your spouse. This may also be true in unmarried relationships, but marriage ups the ante—it signals a deeper commitment (or should), and therefore makes it all the more damaging when love “fails.”
So, are you a loser if you are not bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things…? If so, then I’m a loser. I lost because I depended on my “phileo” or brotherly love. We all love someone, even if it’s only ourselves, but that love will not be enough to get past the angry words, mean spirit, disappointments, frustrations, and doubts. The only love that NEVER fails is God’s love. God IS love! (1 John 4:8), and that love takes over when ours fail. It’s like having an extra gas tank. No matter how much you fill the first one, when it’s empty, it’s empty. Praise God that you can turn the switch over to the other tank, especially when you are crossing the desert and there are no gas stations for miles. Your only hope is that second tank.
I know. Some of you are saying, “But you don’t understand.” One thing I’ve learned in the ministry is that I can’t understand every situation. I can empathize even when I do not understand. However, I don’t have to understand to share God’s unbreakable promises. They work EVERY time!!!! So here they are, I Corinthians 13:4-8a,13—LOVE…
- suffers long (hmmm.. is patient?)
- is kind
- does not envy
- does not parade itself, is not puffed up (NO ROOM FOR PRIDE HERE!)
- does not behave rudely
- does not seek its own (THAT WOULD BE CALLED: SACRIFICIAL LOVE)
- is not provoked
- thinks no evil (FYI: THIS ONE SEPARATES THE MEN FROM THE BOYS!! AND, I think this one is one the hardest ones to conquer)
- does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth
- bears all things
- believes all things
- hopes all things
- endures ALL THINGS!
- And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
“Well, that’s impossible! No one can do that!!” Now you’re learning!! WWJD—What Would Jesus Do? If you find that answer, you are learning agape love. It holds life together better than Gorilla Glue. It patches things up better than Duck Tape. It smooths things over better than WD40—the three most important items in Mrs. Fixit’s toolbox!