There are lots of great things in life. There are lots of great things in faith. Easy isn’t one of them.
Life will not be easier because we love.
Life will not magically go more smoothly, be less frustrating, or make us want to eat less pie and ice cream.
Life will actually be harder because we love brave.
Life will take more energy when we engage in deep, meaningful ways.
We will get hurt.
We will get frustrated.
We will feel hammered at times.
But it will be so worth it.
God told us in Jesus Christ that we were worth it. He sent Him to this earth, on a cold dark night to lay in straw. People loved Him and hated Him. People loved and hated His message. He bowed His head and prayed for every single soul to be filled with a remarkable Spirit of joy, patience, kindness, trust, and truth. One day, took up a cross for forgiveness to enter our lives. Forgiveness that wasn’t dependent on who we are or what we’ve done, but solely dependent on His love which make mountains shake and the sun rise. And then, so we could love, so we could walk around with hope and laughter in a world still trapped in darkness, He walked out of the tomb, living, breathing, eating, hugging His people.
I want to bravely walk out of my tomb.
I don’t want to curl myself up into a ball and hide in my house. I want to let His life pour in, hug my people, walk out my door, invite people to eat at my table, and love, love, and love brave.
Matt and I want to challenge each of you today to one thing. Pick one piece of 1 Corinthians 13, written in full below, one Love is or Love is not to focus on for the remainder of the month. Post it somewhere, contemplate it further with a visual faith tool, and seek to incorporate that one piece into your life further, to love brave in that one way more each day.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 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. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
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. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Faith, hope, and love will always be there, because God is always there, whether we choose to see Him or not. He fills what we lack. He forgives when we insist. He calms where our irritation ignites. The greatest of these is Love, because He is Love.
Go with God.
Go with Love.
"God is always there.” Heidi’s reminder is one I need to hear all the time. God is always there. He’s celebrating with me in joy. He’s comforting me in pain. God is always there. His love is a Brave Love. His love enables my Brave Love. He’s there for me, and He invites me to be there for others. It’s been a blessing to share these last six weeks with Heidi and with you. I hope we can continue to Love Brave together.