By His Grace: Allow love to have its way

Edith Nevis, Special to the Weekly Citizen, The Chief
Edith Nevis

"Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 AMP

The matters of the heart can do one of two things -- break you or heal you.

When one is offended by a wrong, perhaps unjust, the heart if your are not careful can over time become hardened and unforgiving. The offense begins to take on a life of its own, leading you down a dangerous and emotional path that is unpleasing to God.

We are called by God to love one another as Christ loves us. We are to walk in this love daily. Love encourages and uplifts. When we cover another in godly prayer, this is form of his love. The power of prayer can change all circumstances in life.

Love is powerful when used in the right manner, and here is where you and I begin to grow.

You may ask why I speak of love. The Bible reveals that the condition of our heart is extremely important to God.

"But the lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.' The lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV

Christ is love. He is the source of our continuous joy. As followers of Christ, we are to emulate this love toward one another.

Love endures with patience and serenity. There is never need to go off the deep end, giving another a piece of your mind. Doing disqualifies you from being an effective witness to God’s perfect love and demonstrates the emotional chaos in you. You are entitled to your feelings. What is more important is that we never stay in those feelings, especially if they are negative. Walk away from strife, take a ride or go in your prayer closet to be alone with God. Those who seek him will find him. Love encounters an offense with self-control and is peaceful.

The verse goes on to say love is kind and thoughtful and is not jealous or envious. Regardless of what has been done, seek to forgive. Our love should always be caring, helpful and well-meaning.

Love should never seek center stage to boost oneself while diminishing another. It is never to be ill-mannered or ungracious. Love never seeks to instigate a fight. And it does not keep a tally of wrongdoings.

Love refuses to join the crowd of injustice. It finds no pleasure in another’s pain.

Love celebrates honesty. And most importantly, it supports us regardless the circumstance. It takes no account. It has faith in you, always searching for good and not evil while bringing with it hope.

Do not place love on a shelf as you contemplate whether you should forgive.

In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul instructs the church to cover wrong with good. Seek not vengeance; for it is the Lord's. And don’t say you love your brother when your heart says differently. I’ve come to learn it’s a waste of energy and time to practice unforgiveness, especially when the person you’re mad at doesn’t even remember the fight.

No one knows the hour you will leave this side of heaven. The love of God is free and readily available to all. Are we to demonstrate the same?

To experience the love of God, a relationship must be established through his son, Jesus. Allow me to extend an invitation to experience the love of God. To begin, you must first confess Jesus as lord and savior. You may ask why we need to confess. God knows what is in our heart. There is no other way to the father but through the son. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

Allow me to extend an invitation to experience his wonderful love for you.

Please repeat this prayer: "Lord Jesus, forgive my sins I committed against you. I believe Jesus died for my sins and has risen again. Please come into my life and heart and lead the way. I confess you as my lord and savior from this day forward. In Jesus’ name, amen."

Welcome into the family of Christ.

Until next week, be blessed and continue to bless others along the way. Shalom.

Contributing Writer Edith Nevis can be reached at 985-857-2200 or at edith.nevis@houmatoday.com.