[1 Corinthians 13:3-7]
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects…”
TRUTH TO BELIEVE:
“…The oppressor will come to an end, and destruction will cease; the aggressor will vanish from the land. In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it— one from the house of David— one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness.” Isaiah 16:4-5, NIV
verb: To defend or guard from attack, invasion, loss, annoyance, insult, etc.; cover or shield from injury or danger.
In making the declaration that love always protects, Paul leaves me without an out. For now love doesn’t just protect when it’s convenient or when it’s safe to do so. Love ALWAYS protects.
During youth group on Sunday night we talked about what it means to love our neighbor. The biggest challenge for most of us was giving up control over our schedules and comfort. I want to help and protect others on my own terms, but God’s love and example calls me to more.
HOPE TO CLAIM:
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10, NIV
Thankfully we have a God who makes good on this promise. God’s love always protects. Now He has asked for us to do likewise. We are to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before Him (Micah 6:8).
CHALLENGE TO EMBRACE:
“…Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17, NIV
Choose to actively protect the oppressed this week. If you are looking for a way to defend the cause of the vulnerable, please read Carey’s post over at Cravings for details on how to protect, love and become a Freesetter.
“Freeset is located in Calcutta, India, helping to free women from human trafficking by providing them employment with dignity through sewing bags. Every woman is provided medical insurance, retirement, daycare for their children, classes to learn how to read and write, and three times the wage they would receive “in line.” Join us every day December 1-12 in Freeset’s Freedom Tour of 12 Days of Freedom with Freeset and become a part of the freedom story. Watch our video, shop our bags, change lives.”
Love always protects.
Advent Resource: Advent Cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach. I find myself aided in times of prayer by the sweeping sounds of Bach’s choral music.