Expectant Prayers ®

Jennifer Jo Weiss

Living Out Love

"But the greatest of these is love."

1 Corinthians 13:13

When I was home, a topic kept coming up that several family members have been studying about at church;  LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.  Two of my aunts thought it was one of the hardest things to do in life.  Do we really love others as much as we do ourselves? Do we do as Jesus, lay down our own lives, ambitions, wants, desires - for the betterment of our neighbors and friends?


In the Bible, God has commanded us to love.  What does “love” really mean?  How do we apply it to everyday life?


We need look no further than 1 Corinthians 13 to see what love is:





-is happy when other do/get something (not envious)


-is humble (not proud)


-keeps “self” accomplishments and abilities in check (not boastful)


-polite (not rude)


-thinks of others (is not self-seeking)


-forgiving (does not keep a record of wrongs)


-rejoices together in righteousness and the truth (not delighting in evil)










As chapter thirteen concludes, we are also admonished to consider the magnitude and scope of love.  There are many things that will cease in life; among those are our hope and faith.  How can hope and faith stop?  Easy.  Once we are gone and forever with the Lord, there will be no more need to hold onto faith or hope – we will have attained the completion of those things.  Love, on the other hand, is something that is eternal, passing from one life to the next and will remain forever.


I would also like to point out that the first two terms that describe “love” in 1 Corinthians 13 should trigger your memory as “fruits of the Spirit”.  This brings out a highlight when it comes to our ability to love one another.  Love is of God and everyone that loves is born of God and knows God.   Love is a natural outflow in our lives when we are in Him because of His Spirit (which is the epitome of love).   When we operate in His love, we are truly being salt and light.   It should not be a chore or difficulty to let His love flow through our lives.


Keeping in mind that the love that is effective towards others is a work empowered by the Holy Spirit in our lives, the Word gives us great insight on how God’s system of reaching others works.  You can find it in this in Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. “  These can be likened to:   the place they were, the surrounding county, the state, the country, and then to the ends of the earth.


We can’t expect God to use our ministries or anything else unless we’ve first learned to accomplish this in our homes and to those who are closest around us.   If we are unable to love our neighbors and be salt and light to those who live around us, how can we possibly be effective to those in uttermost parts?


This is reinforced by the Bible passages that show us qualifications for deacons (saying they must first be able to rule their own homes) 1 Timothy 3, and also passages where Jesus spoke in parables about being faithful in the few things before you are made ruler over “many things”.


So back to the definitions; think about your neighbors.   Do your actions show you love or do they confirm you don't? 

Are you patient with your neighbors when they’ve mowed down your flowers?  Are you kind to them and say “hello” when they are outside or do you avoid them?    Do you take them food when you know they’ve been sick?   Are you envious when you see a new car sitting in their driveway, the new pool they put in, the new front door they installed, the huge deck they put up, etc?    Do you brag about what your kid is doing, what great grades they are getting, or that new raise you just got?    Do you say to yourself, “My house is the best one on the block and looks much better than that awful mess next door”?     Do you keep a running total of all the “wrongs”, like when their son hit the baseball through your window, the summer they failed to offer you tomatoes out of their garden, or when they forgot to send you a birthday card?    If you get together, is it to drink beer, play cards, or watch questionable movies… or do you shine your light for Him while you are together?    Do you protect your neighbor’s privacy but not being a pest… or their property by keeping trespassers away?      Do you trust your neighbor to keep your privacy, to speak truth to you, or to watch your house while you’re away on vacation?  Do you hope for the best for your neighbors and their families and look forward toward growing in relationship with them?   Do you persevere through the good and the bad – lending cups of sugar when they’re short, a shoulder to cry on when their child moves out for college, or pats on the back when they’ve done something noteworthy?


Love is action and it is my prayer today that the Lord will help all of us to understand its importance and value and begin to flow in His love.  May He help us all to LIVE OUT LOVE.



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