Posted by: dhkrause | January 20, 2020

Love and Joy Perfected

1 Corinthians 13_13

In 1 Corinthians 13, commonly known as “the love chapter”, Paul describes various spiritual gifts and then concludes “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)  God is the giver and perfecter of the faith, hope, love and joy in our lives.

In Psalm 16, David describes how God’s presence fills him with hope and joy.

Psalm 16 (NKJV)
I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope
.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore
.

Love and joy arise as we begin to comprehend God’s greatest gift of love in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

John 15_12

Jesus declares in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”  He graciously perfects our love and joy, as we love one another as He loves us.

John 15 (NKJV)
Love and Joy Perfected
As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

In John 17, Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer, He prays for the perfection of God’s love and glory in us.

John 17 (NKJV)
And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”

Hebrews 12_2 (3)

Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him.  Part of that joy was in bringing many sons and daughters to glory.

Hebrews  12 (NKJV)
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 2 (NKJV)
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.

In Romans 5 and 15, Paul describes how God’s gifts of faith, hope and love work together to fill us with joy and peace, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 5 (NKJV)
1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 15 (NKJV)
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15_13 (4)

His love and presence, and the hope of glory, lead us to purify ourselves as described in

1 John 3:
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

His love is perfected in us as we love one another and abide in Him through the gift of His Spirit.

1 John 4 (NKJV)
Knowing God Through Love
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

1 Peter 1_8 (2)

Through hope and faith, and His presence with us, we can endure hard trials, even rejoicing “with joy inexpressible and full of glory”.

1 Peter 1
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas praised and gave glory to God while in a dungeon, and God responded in a glorious way.  Paul exhorts us all to do the same:

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)   

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/, 1/20/2020

Photo credits:
(1) https://wiirocku.tumblr.com/post/184559748904/1-corinthians-1313-nkjv-and-now-abide-faith
(2) https://www.gbcdecatur.org/sermons/NoGreaterLove.html
(3) https://images.knowing-jesus.com/i/hebrews-12-2-looking-unto-jesus—author-and-finisher-yellow-8887
(4) https://resources.worldprayr.org/tag/romans-1513/
(5) https://www.pinterest.com/pin/426012445976522958/


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