Love Perseveres

“Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Cor 13:7, NIV) Love of God and humankind is the foundation for a functioning society. Love protects the helpless and the undeserving. Love trusts that things will work out for good. Love is hopeful, and believes that God has something wonderful stored up for those who love him. Love perseveres because it trusts the power of God instead of the power of self.

Love is called the bond of perfection, Col 3:12-15 – “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” NKJV

People working together and helping each other can accomplish great things. That is the business of the church. The church is the community of believers who are following Jesus, and they are meant to work together and encourage each other. Protection and encouragement is available in the church, where people who love each other face problems and share joys.

Christians who desire to help all people are the salt of society, the quality that leads society on a path toward goodness. The greatness of any society is reflected in how the poor and helpless are enabled to live productive lives. Of all the world’s religions, Christianity has the best track record for uplifting people. Christians are not content to think that people are getting what they deserve in this live, but are motivated to care about others by the knowledge that God loves undeserving people.

Christians do not believe that it is best to leave people in their natural condition, with the accumulation of traditions and abuses that have been handed down through generations. Human traditions based on human wisdom have developed layers of destructive behavior that trap such societies in hopelessness. People in these societies are not blessed, and their wretched lives give evidence of the failure of human traditions to develop good societies.

Therefore Christians desire to share their faith with people of other religions. This does not mean that we are condescending, thinking that we are superior, but that we believe in the potential of all people to be blessed through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord of all. For this reason we tell the message of Jesus to all people as we have opportunity. People in any culture can come to Jesus, and their society will be blessed by the transforming message of life in Jesus Christ. Jesus, the world’s greatest teacher, offers hope to all people. It was Jesus who promised that the meek would inherit the earth. It is Jesus who has the power to transform a society from destructive behavior to blessed behavior.

A good society has both freedom and a sense of community. Individuals are free to choose good or evil, but the Christian community works to heal and to rescue those who make bad choices. This influence for good helps to lift up the downtrodden, and to work for the good of all members of the society. Those who reject help are disciplined to protect the interests of the community. Laws are executed to protect the righteous from the wicked. This is not liberty to do as we please, but liberty to do all that is in the good interest of our community. It is freedom to do good.

Love does not give up on people. Where there is life, there is hope. The worst sinner can repent and turn to God, and be saved. Thus members of a Christian community are compelled to keep helping those who have great problems in their lives, and to believe that God’s people with persevere, and be winners in the end.

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