Go ahead and just read this, and then, if you want to, read on below…
The Active and Passive Sides of God’s Love
From a lecture by Gordon Fee, recounting the morning that he sat in his study to work on 1 Corinthians 13:4 for his commentary:
I remember the morning when I came to this passage: “Love is patient, love is kind.”
It’s actually a verb: “Love does patience.” Or better yet, the KJV: “love suffers long.”
Patience is what you show when your computer doesn’t work.
Long-suffering is what you show when people don’t work, and you’ve been around them a long, long time. That’s what it means to suffer long.
And I looked at those words and then realized that Paul was here describing God’s character. Those are exactly the words he uses of God back in Romans 2 [v. 4].
Then it dawned on me:
the first (long-suffering) is the passive side of His love;
the other (kindness) is the active side of His love.
And then I started to cry for a long time. It took me a long time to return to my computer. What if God was not like this toward us?
I was with a group of High School seniors over the weekend, and we talked a lot about God’s Plan For Our Lives. In the middle of one of our meetings, I read that quote for them–which has blessed me since the day I read it, years ago, on Justin Taylor’s blog. It’s by Gordon Fee, the New Testament Scholar, the same Gordon Fee who I’ve been quoting in the last couple posts. I don’t know… I just think it’s awesome. Saturday night it was ministering to me all over again, God speaking to me about his love, like it did when I first read it.
“What if God was not like this toward us?”
Let that sit in your thoughts for a while, and do things in you.
Don’t have any notes to post for last night’s study. It was one of those done without them! If you weren’t there, we looked at Deuteronomy 6 to get encouragement to be reading and meditating on God’s word in 2017.