Love is the very foundation that God urges us to live upon. But in an ever-changing world, it’s easy to get pulled in a hundred different directions by your earthly loves. Your grades, your money, your friends, your team, your clothes—all of it. But navigating these distractions takes a guidance that only One can provide. It takes an unconditional outpour of love from an unconditional Savior.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 calls us to live out love in the exact way that it is described—through patience, kindness, humility, and truth. In order to achieve this, we must strive to know Jesus. When we build our relationship with Him, we realize several things.
First — Love comes from God. As we begin to know God, the powers of His love and compassion are revealed to us.
Second — The greatest act of love is the one that saved us from our sins, the one that leads to the path of life.
Another thing we learn from knowing Jesus is that He tells us that it is not enough just to say and act like you love God, but in order to know the depths of His love, we must go out and love people with the selfless, unyielding love that He gave us.
From such love, comes a bounding joy. Knowing Jesus, learning to love like Him, and seeking to actively love others, leads to a path of life that is unlike any other. To experience God’s love and to be able to joyfully radiate this love to others is something that goes hand in hand.
You have filled my heart with greater joy.
In our world today, I think there are many places where our love and our joy get misplaced. That is where we find emptiness that we once deemed full, happiness that really is uneasiness, and joy that is now deflated.
However, the God of Hope restores in a way that no earthly distraction can. When we live for the Lord, our lives are promised to bear the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
Love from the Lord is redeeming; joy from the Lord is overwhelming. Love form the Lord is moving, joy from the Lord is inspiring. In human nature we get distracted by what is going on around us, and we forget to stop to appreciate the magnitude that accompanies these two glorious gifts.
But, to me, there is no greater love and no greater joy than what is found in the fullness of Christ.
WRITTEN BY: RILEY CRUSON
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy...
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-8
7 You have filled my heart with greater joy.
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atonement for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 JOHN 4:7-11
- How does our culture define joy? What does true joy from the Lord look like?
- Read Psalm 4:7 and 1 John 4:7-11 — Who is the source of “greater joy” and love? What is our responsibility towards one another (1 John 4:11)?
- How has God shown His love for you?
- How do Love and Joy go together? What ways can you show someone joyful love this week?