Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on...a love challenge! (finally!)

I'm an intentional person.  I wish I was more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type girl, but I am not.  It's just not the way God created me!  Hopefully knowing that will give you a little insight into my head. :) A few weeks ago, I kept having this reoccurring thought about a love challenge.  And, of course the verse that immediately came to mind was 1 Corinthians 13.  Love is patient, love is kind, blah, blah, blah.  OK, I've got this!

My small mind was thinking it would be fun to put together a little love challenge for my family.  Nothing too big - just a way for us to focus on ways we could love each other better.  And then my world was flipped upside down.

I opened my Bible and read the following passage from 1 Corinthians 13 (this is the NIV version taken from Bible Gateway):

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have 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 do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, 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, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.  But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.

And then I realized that this wasn't necessarily a challenge for my family - it was a challenge for ME!  Look at the verses that describe what love is.  How many characteristics do you see?  FOURTEEN!  And, what day is Valentine's Day on?!  Yep - February FOURTEENth!  What?!  How cool is that!  :)
I've mentioned before that I can get stuck and frustrated with my quiet times because I tend to have a hard time understanding what I'm reading but I'm really trying to do better.  Dig deeper.  I've taken these verses and looked them up in many different translations and also looked up words in the dictionary to give them more meaning. Starting February 1st, I'll break down one characteristic each day until Valentine's Day. They won't be long posts - just a little something for you to think about.  I hope you'll join me! I thought I understood these verses but have quickly realized they are so much more.

Hard to believe that these words weren't written to show us how to love each other - they were actually written by Paul to the Corinthian church about how they were misusing their spiritual gifts.  They were using them with an attitude of "I'll do what I want, when I want" and definitely without love.  He wanted to show them that they lacked love in what they were doing.  He wanted them to know that love wasn't just words, it was actions and that love was greater than any spiritual gift.  And, I'm reminded by the way our pastor at Brazos Fellowship puts it, love is a verb, not a noun. And, even though these words weren't specifically written for how to love others, I think we can apply them this way.  If we love those around us - our family, our neighbors, our co-workers, those in our community, etc. - we can't help but let love spill out while using our spiritual gifts.  And even though we each have different spiritual gifts, love is available to everyone.  We just need to know what love is and how to show it!

Come back starting Sunday for a day by day breakdown of these verses.  You can subscribe to my page or follow me on Bloglovin' to get a daily reminder sent to your email. I would love to have you join me!

Thanks for your patience as I worked on getting this all together.  I'm still not 100% confident in my ability to pull this off but I am 100% confident I can do it with God's help!  
Have a blessed day!  Gig 'em and God bless!
Holly

You can check my FAVORITE link-ups page to find the awesome girlies I'm linking up with today.  Show them some love! :)

14 comments:

  1. Holly,
    What a great idea! I love that your going to take those 14 words and work your way to Valentines day. I didn't even realize that there were 14. That's really neat. Thank you for sharing what God has been showing you - and thank you for linking up with us at Simplified Life. net for Simply Inspired Wed. - I hope you will join us next week too! Blessings! ~Victoria

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    1. Thanks, Victoria! I didn't realize there were 14 either till I started making notes! Thanks for hosting this link-up! I'll be back next week!

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  2. I LOVE this idea, Holly!

    Isn't it great when we think we are going to teach someone something about our faith only to realize that it is God who is teaching us in the process? What an amazing God we serve!

    I love that you have focused Valentine's Day, not on candy and flowers (not that there is anything wrong with those!), but on loving one another the way God desires us to with the gifts He has given us for that purpose. Bravo!

    Love is absolutely a verb and not a noun. If we realized that, the world might just be a different place. Blessings to you and yours! ~Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

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    1. Thank you, Heather!!!! I do love it when God gives me a subtle kick in the pants when I think I've got something figured out! His was is so much better! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you join me in the love challenge!

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  3. This is awesome! I totally feel the same way so many times when I'm reading something over and over and just not really getting what the message really is. It has helped lately as I started writing a few things down to start absorbing it more. You definitely "got" this one friend..I love it and can't wait to follow along and see how God speaks through you!

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    1. Thanks! Bible Gateway is amazing - so quick to pull from one version to another! I don't know what I would do without my study bible - without it, I would be LOST! I'm so behind on my daily bible reading to read through in a year cause I'm taking notes as I go. I figure it's better to really understand what I'm reading versus just reading the words. Thanks for the encouragement! This will be quite the undertaking! :) Not to mention that I have been convicted with each and every verse (even the ones I thought I was decent at!)!

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  4. I really like this idea! I will be sure to come back and follow along with you.

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    1. Thanks, K.C.! I look forward to having you join me! Have a great day!

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  5. I love this Holly!

    I just created a 14 day paper chain activity for my daughter and I found words and paired them with various scriptures in the Bible. However, I love that you pulled your 14 words from this one scripture. so cool.

    Thanks for sharing and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop.

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! I loved your paper chain too! Thanks for hosting the link-up! See you next week!

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  6. What a great idea, Holly! Thanks for linking up with us at Sinply Inspied Wednesdays.

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! Thanks for hosting! See you Wednesday!

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  7. I wrote a similar post this week for Her View From Home :) Great minds think alike. I broke down the verses all at once but I love your idea of 14 broken down for Valentine's! Thanks so much for sharing at Women With Intention Wednesdays! I hope to see you back this week!

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    1. Jenny - I loved your post! (and for anyone wondering - you can find it here: http://herviewfromhome.com/the-true-meaning-of-love/#comment-14986). Thanks for hosting the link up! I'll be back next week!

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