Exodus 34:1-6; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Exodus 34:6 invites us to focus our attention on the Lord our God
– The Lord is the compassionate and gracious God.
– The Lord is the God who is slow to anger.
– The Lord is the God who is abounding in love and faithfulness.
Here, in this verse, we learn about the God of love, and we learn about the love of God. God is love. This is the message of Exodus 34:6.
When we think about God and His love, we are invited, by God’s Word, to think about our own life.
We have been created by God, created in His image, created for Him. Is our life being shaped by the love of god? Are we being changed by God’s love?
1 Corinthians 13 is all about love.
Although God is not mentioned in this chapter, we must see Him in the background. This is a description of the character of god. It tells us what God is like.
Why is God not mentioned here? The point is this. we do not stop after saying, “This is what God is like.” We move on from there. We take the next step. We say, “This is what we are to be like.” We are to be like God – the God of love.
(a) In 1 Corinthians 13:4, we learn that love is kind.
Love is kind because it is the love of the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God. God has been kind to us. we are to be kind to one another – as God has been kind to us.
(b) In 1 Corinthians 13:4, we learn that love is patient.
Once again, this is a lesson which is based on what we know about God. He is the God who is slow to anger. God has been patient with us. We are to be patient with one another – as god has been patient with us.
(c) The God who has been kind to us, the God who has been patient with us, has been described, in Exodus 34:6, as the God who is abounding in love and faithfulness.
The love of God is an abounding love. He has always loved us. He will always love us. There was never a time when He did not love us. He will never stop loving us. His love ia a perfect love. It is eternal love.
When Paul speaks, in 1 Corinthians 13, of love, he speaks of an abounding love.
* “Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (verse 7).
* “Love never fails” (verse 8) – Note the contrast with things will pass away.
* Love is “perfection” (verse 10).
* Love, grouped with faith and hope, remains forever. Love is greater than faith and hope – “the greatest of these is love” (verse 13).
Our love can never compare with God’s love. His love is far greater than our love. It is His love which inspires our love. His love lifts our love up to a higher level. It is through His love for us that we learn to love one another – as He has loved us.
Let us not only receive God’s love for ourselves. Let us show His love to others.