Living Free - April 25, 2014

  

Love Boldly

Today's Scripture

"Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]." (1 Corinthians 13:7 AMP)

Thoughts for Today

Today's scripture describes a bold kind of love. We are to love boldly.

Bold love requires sacrifice.

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16 NLT)

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. (1 John 3:18 NLT)

Bold love is optimistic. It hopes for and longs for the day of reconciliation.

Bold love is commitment without conditions. 

Christian love flies in the face of our culture. Bold love takes courage. It makes itself vulnerable.

Consider this …

Because bold love is a choice, it requires commitment to develop. Here are some things you'll need to do if you choose to love boldly.

  • Decide to settle for nothing else. "So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all" (1 Corinthians 12:31 NLT).
  • Understand that bold love is a "God thing." "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control"(Galatians 5:22 NLT).
  • Be prepared for bold love to be tested. Jesus said this: “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!" (Luke 6:32 NLT).
  • Persevere after failure. David set a good example. He failed many times but never gave up. "But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do’"(Acts 13:22 NLT).

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:12-14 NLT)

Prayer

Father, help me to love boldly. To be optimistic, committed, and willing to sacrifice. Help me to persevere after failure. In Jesus' name . . .

These thoughts were drawn from …

Authentic Living in an Artificial World by Dr. Mike Chapman. This 45-minute group study gives understanding about what it means to be real. The facilitator's guide includes reproducible group member study sheets and an audio CD designed to help facilitators prepare for each session. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.

 

 

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