Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Before All Time

Is it a bad thing that I'm jaded by the words of 1 Corinthians 13? I mean why don't things faze us anymore? Isn't it the most profound thing that "in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth"?! I mean WOW! We just read Jude in women's bible study, and my bible had a note that in the last verse, the Greek New Testament has the words "before all time" that New King James omitted. So it would say, "To God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power BEFORE ALL TIME, both now and forever." Before all time?! I can't even fathom that. What must it mean to be before time?
Anyway, a friend of mine brought up the fact that 1 Corinthians 13 is so overdone. I agreed with her because it seems like it is quoted all the time--so much so, that we quote it like a Sunday school class that "love is patient, love is kind." Like how at church, I always know the answer to the questions at Children's time is "Jesus." BUT God is love! And we were made in God's image! Therefore, loving, as seen in 1 Cor 13, seems to be pretty high on the priority list... I read this on biblegateway in a commentary about 3 John: "The statement 'anyone who does what is evil has not seen God' calls to mind 1 John 4:20, where John stated that love for an unseen God demands love for the very unstable believer. Here, then, John means that failure to do right, to love one's fellow Christian, manifests a lack of understanding of and fellowship with the God who is love." So 1 Corinthians 13 shouldn't be a jaded passage for us. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it is not proud, it does not boast. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking... I mean okay... no need to go on, I'll admit, my love for others is sometimes envious and self-seeking. I'll admit I am not always patient or kind. So clearly, this is something I need to hear. My absolute favorite verse of this is verse 7. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ALWAYS. What a strong word. And if I didn't feel like I'm already a failure at this "love," 1 John comes in and says that we only know love because Jesus laid down his life for us, so we should lay down our lives for our brothers. Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. SOOO yeah, loving? Pretty important.
I think whenever we read 1 Corinthians 13, we should be like WHOA GOD! My love could never "always protect" and "always trust," but yours does! What do I know about laying down my life for someone else? What do I know about before all time?

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