Lesson for the Lord’s Day

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. 1 Corinthians 13:5

An acquaintance of mine always seems to be getting into trouble. He can’t hold a job for long, and has been married more than three times. He has poor credit, and bad manners, and tends to rub people the wrong way. He knows he is far from being the kind of person he should be. He confided in me one time that the only purpose he served was to be a bad example. Maybe he’s right, it is convenient to have somebody to point to and say to the children that unless they shape up, they will turn out just like him. But a better approach is to look, not at a bad example, but a good example. And when it comes to the great topic of love – which our text is addressing – we have One Who is not just a good example but a perfect Example.

The Lord Jesus is the only One Who never behaved Himself unseemly. When He came into this world to be our Saviour, He established Himself as the worthy Sacrifice. To make the payment for sin, He must be sinless. In all His life, never did He deviate from the perfection laid out in the law, nor from the path of obedience that God requires. He always behaved as the express Image of the Father, in all of the attributes of Deity, including the attribute of love.

Our text also speaks of love not seeking her own. In a very selfish world, the Lord Jesus proved Himself capable and willing to live a perfectly selfless life. In Gethsemane, He could utter those words of complete surrender to the purposes of His Father: ‘Not My will but Thine’. He was fully surrendered to not only His Father’s will, but also to our need. Without His sacrifice, we were forever perishing. So His great love selflessly led Him to bear our sins in His own body on the tree.

When our text speaks of love not being easily provoked, we turn to Calvary and consider the words of Isaiah: ‘He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth’ (Isaiah 53:7). The Gospel accounts show One Who fully submitted to the cruelty and abuse men heaped upon Him. He accepted shameful mistreatment because of His great love.

None of us could ever say that our love is without any measure of evil thought. But when we turn to the Lord Jesus, we find a mind so filled with the perfect law of God that He had no room nor capability of thoughts that were evil. In His perfect love for us, He thought only of obeying His Father’s purpose to purchase our redemption with His own precious blood.

We have a perfect Example of love in our loving Lord and Saviour. Oh to be more like Him and to appreciate Him more! – Jim MacIntosh

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