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True Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs

True love - God's kind of love - is both possible and impossible at the same time. It's possible to love people the way God does when we're living under His truth and grace and in His power. We know this because He commands us to love and defines it for us in explicit terms, and He never commands us to do that which He will not also enable us to do. Then again, there are aspects of love that seem so far beyond reach. In particular, real love includes the ability to truly, …

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True Love Is Selfless

"Me first!!" Who hasn't heard a toddler say that? And every year on Black Friday, millions of adults prove that this is not merely a toddler problem. From birth, we fight to be first. Selflessness is a learned behavior. And selflessness is at the root of what real love is all about - God's kind of love. "Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way." So wrote Paul in his definition of what true love is in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. When …

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True Love Is Kind

Love hurts, right? Well, sort of. It hurts to love someone who doesn't return our love and God knows this all too well, but when the Bible says that "Love is kind" in 1 Corinthians 13:4, God is letting us know that love, as He defines it, doesn't seek to harm people. Remember that love is more than an uncontrollable feeling. Love is a choice and love is action. And real love chooses to act toward others in ways that are kind rather than in ways that are harmful. When …

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True Love Waits With and For People

"Love is patient." So declares Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:4, a passage that serves as God's defining statement about love. True love is patient, but what does patient love look like? I think it includes two ideas, both of which are more difficult than what we are accustomed to living out naturally. First, true love waits with people. That is, we love people by staying by their side during times of unrest and uncertainty. Love compels us to wait for dreams to come true for …

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Rekindle the Flame of Love by Paying Attention Again

We don't fall out of love. We stop choosing to do things that are loving. So the way back to love is to do the loving things we did early in our relationship. And that often starts with the simple step of paying attention again. Paul challenged the believers in Philippi, "Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too." (Philippians 2:3-4 …

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When You’ve Fallen Out of Love

We don't actually "fall" in love. We choose to act lovingly. Attraction might be instant, but love is cultivated over time. And since we don't fall in love, we don't actually fall out of love either. We stop choosing to act lovingly. And when we're not cultivating a relationship lovingly, things get cold. Jesus once wrote to a church that was guilty of losing its love for Him. They were going through the motions, holding to the truth, and behaving like a church, but they …

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Loving People You Don’t Like Is Really Love

Loving people you like is easy. Loving people who are easy to love is a cinch. But loving your enemies? That's a challenge. But it's a challenge given by Jesus when He said, "But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you." (Luke 6:27-28 NLT) The basic minimum requirement that the world expects of us is that we be loving when it's easy, but Jesus' new Kingdom ethic is far …

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How Will People Know You Love Them?

Saying "I love you" matters a great deal. It's a missing ingredient in too many family stories. We all need to receive that basic verbal affirmation, and we all need to be giving it as well. But verbal affirmations of love only go so far. What we need is love through deeds, love in action. We show our love in both simple and complex ways, from random acts of kindness to great acts of sacrifice. 1 John 3:18 says, "Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; …

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The Golden Rule for Revolutionaries

Jesus has called His followers to a revolution - an overthrow of the culture. It isn't military or material in nature. In fact, it is driven forward by love instead of hate accompanied by mercy, justice, and compassionate service to others. He has called us to subvert the very value system that surrounds us and to live differently and distinctly in a way that slowly becomes more noticeable until its witness is undeniable. As this quiet kingdom expansion takes place, He …

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To Understand the Gospel, First Understand God

There are three things I know beyond the shadow of a doubt... There is a God. I am not him. Neither are you. I know that if we were to make up our own "god," he wouldn't resemble the God of the Bible much. I know that because that's what humanity has done repeatedly and still does today. It's easier to serve an idol that looks like our idea of god than it is to serve the Living God. That's why I cringe when people say things like, "Well I just think God probably doesn't …

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