In meditating on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, I thought of how perfectly Christ demonstrates love embodied for us: 1.) He is patient with us: How often has he and does he put up with our sin and pour out love grace and mercy to us? 2.) He is kind: think about His kindness in taking in human flesh, in humbling himself as the servant of all, in going to the cross for us, in sending the Spirit, in restoring us to the Father, in filling us with innumerable gifts and joy and grace upon grace, in giving us His word and...3.) He is not jealous concerning us in the sense of not wanting us to have all goodness. He wants to shower goodness upon us, He wants us to be satisfied, He wants us to be filled with joy, he gives us richly all things to enjoy, even the trials he brings are for our good! 4.) He did not come to the earth bragging with arrogance, He came in the lowliest way, he made himself the servant of all, He poured himself out and completely submitted Himself to the Father's will! 5.) He does not act unbecomingly: He always acts in a way that accords with righteousness and truth, He always does the will of the Father, He is always good, and just and gracious! 6.) He did not come seek his own, but the Father's will and redemption and blessing for others. He laid His life down! 7.) He was not provoked: think of the Jewish leaders railing against Him, falsely accusing him, abusing him; think of Herod's mockery of him, think of the Romans cruelty to him. As they spat in his face, whipped Him, beat Him and crucified Him, He was never once provoked to anger or hate, or bitterness, instead He said "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!", He entrusted Himself to His faithful Father and finished the work of offering Himself for our sin as our Savior! 8.) He did not keep an account of wrong's suffered. Remember how all of his discipled abandoned Him at his moment of greatest need. He did not hold that against them, but instead he restored them in Galilee. What grace and mercy to give Peter the opportunity to profess love 3x to Him to erase his 3 fold denial of Christ. What grace to send these men out to represent Him fully restored after they had forsaken them. What grace that He does not hold our sin against us if we are trusting in Him and embracing His forgiveness! 9.) He never rejoices in unrighteousness, but always rejoices in the truth. He loves us to much to allow us to remain in our sin--He wants to redeem us from every lawless deed. He has given his Word and His Spirit turn us from sin and turn us to truth and righteousness. 10.) He always bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things with us. Again think of his dealing with the disciples. He could have focused a lot on their weakness and sin, but instead He encouraged them and gently brought them along! He bears with us and our weakness and warts, and sin as well. He sees the good that he is working in us through His Spirit and forgives and forgets the bad, He knows that he will fully conform us to His image of perfection, He endures all that we do and remains faithful to us to the end! What a challenge to love in this way with a love that never fails! Lord, give us this love!