I Corinthians 13:7-13
Love…bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, ENDURES all things.
Love- Christ- Christ in us- Us in Christ- endures ALL things. We cannot endure ANYthing on our own and we don’t have to. But as we look to and depend on Christ in ALL of life we can by His love remain under duress, undergo stress and have fortitude to withstand the assault of an unloving person because while we experience their assaults we allow Christ to take the blows.
Many times we cannot endure in love, because we are taken by surprise by the first blow. We are happily going along our own way and then someone does something that is totally unexpected, perhaps even unkind, seemingly aggressive and totally self-centered. Then we find ourselves REACTING to their assault out of our emotions and weakness instead of out of Christ steadfast love and strength.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
Keys to enduring Love-
1. Be strong IN the Lord and in the strength OF HIS MIGHT- His strength is always available and always sufficient
2. Put on the FULL Armor OF God- He supplies all that we need to protect us- But we must Put it on. We must recognize that we ARE in a battle, not a garden. We are not in Kansas anymore.
3. SO THAT you will be able to Stand Firm against the schemes of THE DEVIL. Our battle is never against people, it is always a spiritual battle against the assaults of the devil. Satan uses the lives of people as his disposable pawns.
4. Recognize that we live on a battle field- For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. We are surprised when we live like innocent bystanders, only to find we are actually in the ring of battle.
5. Therefore, take up the full armor of God-
Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE;
in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:14-17
Notice that God supplies all that we need for battle and most of what He supplies is defensive, protective in nature.
The one offensive weapon is the Gospel of Peace, the Good News and it brings not more war, but PEACE.
6. Stand Firm. Take on a posture of strength in Christ by always being prepared for the assaults of Satan through the circumstances of life and people. A football player does not stroll around the field like he is walking through a garden. He takes a strong stand and is poised for the next hit.
Stand Firm- ENDURE the onslaught of Satan in the Love of Christ and you will bring love and peace to the pawns of life who are being used and abused by the devil and you will set the captives free and Christ will reign supreme.
We can ENDURE in love every time, if we put on His armor and stand firm in His love.
Who is our battle against?
How long can a fight go on with others if we stop fighting with them and instead intentionally love them?