Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:12-17
“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:14)
We must admit that keeping healthy relationships is hard work. This is why we are told — “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so that you also must forgive” (vs. 12,13). While we are to put on these character qualities, the most important thing is that we put on love. Love is primary; it must come first.
In the beautiful description of love which is found in I Corinthians 13, we read about the primacy of love — “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I am nothing” (I Corinthians 13:1-3). The passage ends with these words — “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three, but the greatest o these is love” (I Corinthians 13:13).
Peter also speaks of the primacy of love — “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:8). When we love someone, we will be quick to overlook their faults and we will be quick to forgive. Putting on love enables us to be patient and kind. It also keeps us from being irritable and resentful (I Corinthians 13:4-8a).
Jesus summed it up with these words — “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another” (John 13:34,35). Love is primary. We can love others because Christ first loved us. We must remember that it is love that binds things together in perfect harmony.
Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me. Thank You for being patient and kind with me. Enable me to put on love today. Give me the power to love all I come into contact with today, even the hard people to love.
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