March 29, Wednesday

The AMI QT Devotionals for March 28-April 2 are provided by Doug Tritton. Doug, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently serving as a staff at Symphony Church (Boston) while pursuing a M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary.  He is married to Cindy and they are proud parents of Audrey.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Patient Love

1 Corinthians 13:4

Love is patient

I remember when I first became a Christian and was reading through 1 Corinthians 13, thinking, “Why is ‘patient’ the first description of love?” Most of the descriptions are negatives (e.g., love does NOT envy or boast), and the other positive description that is paired with patient is “kind,” which makes a lot of sense for describing love. If you are a loving person, that simply means you are kind and nice, right? That’s often what we are taught by the world, where love is defined more by action.

But when you think about it, patience captures that quality of love that is so often forgotten or underappreciated—the idea of enduring, committed love – agape love in Greek, or hesed love in Hebrew. When we are younger, it can be easy to underappreciate the patience of love, but as we get older—get married, have children—the power and endurance of love is most often shown in patience. Even in the past few months, as a new father, my patience has at times been tested with my daughter Audrey: Why won’t she eat? Why won’t she stop crying? Out of impatience I get angry and frustrated with her. But love shows a different way. Love is patient. And so I am stretched to love, to love her like my Heavenly Father loves me.

Ultimately, God’s patience with us was the highest mark of His love. He was patient with us, despite our sins, to the point of dying on the cross for us. That is the patient love of our God. Likewise, He calls us to show this same type of patient love in all our relationships—whether in family, church, or elsewhere. As Jesus says, by this love, all people will know that we are His disciples (John 13:35).

Prayer: Lord, thank You for your patience towards us. Though we have wronged You time and time again, Your love stays the same. So just as You’ve been patient with us, help us to be patient with those around us. We know we will be wronged, but help us to still love, with committed, unchanging love, just as Your love for us is committed and unchanging. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 18


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read Romans 12:9-10: Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Questions to Consider

  1. What do you think it means for love to be genuine?
  2. How do you outdo others in showing honor?
  3. How can you better love those around you today?

Notes

  1. This is tricky to really grasp. In some ways, being patient, as talked about this morning, does not feel genuine at times. Sometimes it feels like we are faking it. But genuine love is really admitting that the love we give is flawed, and that we need God’s love to work through us. His is the real steadfast, patient love, and it’s His love we need to give to others, not our flawed love.
  2. I love this verse. If only we actually tried to outdo one another in showing honor, we’d see an end to broken relationships. Instead, we often try to outdo one another in revenge and hostility! How can you outdo others in your life at showing honor and patient love?
  3. Look back at your morning – have you been patient in love? Or has love been a distant afterthought? After lunch today, let’s try to show true brotherly affection to those we encounter, showing the patient, enduring love to those around us.

EVENING REFLECTION

Ask God for more patience. If you have been impatient with anyone today, take time to ask God for forgiveness and grace to rebuild that relationship. Reflect upon God’s patient love to you, and ask God for the power to love others in the same way.

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