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Monday, June 30, 2014

Love.Endures.All.Things

By Clifton Angel

    According to Joseph Stowell, “The Greeks had a race in their Olympic games that was unique. The winner was not the runner who finished first. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit” (Fan the Flame, 32). Such an accomplishment would require more time, greater tact, and different talent. This runner would have to have endurance. Christians also are running a race of endurance (Hebrews 12:1–2). 
    Paul tells us via his letter to the Corinthian church that love “endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7). The word Paul used to speak of the endurance of godly love is the same word used to describe Jesus’ endurance of the cross (Hebrews 12:2) and the Christian’s endurance in the faithful race (Hebrews 12:1). Therefore, we may conclude that a person who loves like Christ (which is this love of which we speak) can endure like Christ. No matter the persecution, the tribulation, the temptation, or the situation, we can endure it if we have this kind of love. When the one you thought was a friend does something unfriendly, endure. When the love of your life ruins your night, endure. When your co-workers don’t work and rather complain, endure. When the nation crashes down town by town, endure. When your faith brings strife and even requires your life, endure. That’s love. I will conclude with words shared by a friend:

Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length,
Pressed so intensely it seems beyond strength.
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul.
Pressed in the mind until the dark surges roll.
Pressed by foes and pressed by friends,
Pressure upon pressure till life nearly ends.
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod.
Pressed into knowing no helper but God.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings.
Pressed into faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living a life in the Lord.
Pressed until a Christ-like life is outpoured.     (shared by Stephen Sutton)

- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website: http://www.coldwatercofc.com/



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