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So we want to capitalize on this momentum, and extend the conversation around making love a practice. A lot of the times we are prone to saying I love you or to feeling a genuine love toward someone because we feel closely connected to them – it just feels so great to be a part of each others’ lives. Many girlfriends may feel this bond, parents, spouses, siblings…

I love how the last verse in I Corinthians 13 ends with: “And now these three things remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Why does the Bible stress the importance of love – the value of letting the greatness of love surpass all other works? Love is not a noun – we learned that during our forgiveness series – that this takes a little activation on our part as individuals. So how do we activate, so to speak?

Here’s the thing: we must move from saying it with our lips and feeling it in our gut, to activating it and making it an everyday practice.

Isn’t it great that our Passion Pitch question is always such an integral element to our lesson? Because this is where it comes into play:

PASSION PITCH:  Are you praying for people around you, and are you reachable, approachable and available?

I was reading a devotional the other day, and it just so happened to be on the topic of love. It referenced the question “How are we allocating our time to those we say we love?” We say we love, and we believe that people understand this, but part of activation is making a move yourself. Being available, making that phone call, helping a friend in need. Just plain being reachable and available. I have to admit; I am guilty of just not being as available as I should sometimes. And I have to really evaluate – is my unavailability making the people around me feel distant, disconnected, or unloved? I Corinthians 13 tells us that I can have faith, I can be a great influence within the body of Christ, I may speak in tongues and might have been given incredible spiritual gifts…but all of this is meaningless if I do not intentionally take precise measures to just be there in someone else’s space solely for their benefit.

Verse 4: Patient & Kind | Verse 5: Not Self-seeking | Verse 7: Protects, Trusts, Hopes, Perseveres | Verse 13: The Greatest of These is Love

Many times people around us have to see our behaviors in order to draw the real conclusions about who we say we are. If I say I love you but I am always too busy to share lunch with you, I have failed in proving and portraying that the love of God is actually in me. After all, we are to portray and practice this kind of love for the increase of the kingdom. One of the greatest ways to show someone your love is to ignite it through passionate giving of yourself – not your money or anything monetary – but by simply being reachable, approachable, and available to someone other than yourself.

So let’s make a transition. What about that person you feel is nuisance in your life? They’re always in a bind, they bring drama, and they are just physically and emotionally draining to be around. They’ve got all kinds of baggage and you can’t find a good word in the dictionary to describe about them. Without thinking twice, I am sure some of you are naming that person right now.

I Peter 4:8-9 KJV

Without Grudging – How many of us can practice love w/o grudging? That person came to you to ask for money once again, and you gave it to them, but you turned around a week later and gossiped about her to Sally “You know she really needs to get her life together. If she comes to me for money just one more time…”

Part of activating and igniting this thing called love is going beyond our comfort zone, even when it is clear that the other person may be taking inappropriate steps. Their actions may make you cringe; but “love shall cover a multitude of sins.”

So here are your love challenges for the week: (put them into practice for life)

  • Be There: Make yourself reachable, approachable, and available – even if it means adjusting your perfect schedule to hear a friend in need.

Now here’s the REAL challenge | Cover ALL Sins:

  • Identify that person or persons who really push your buttons, and pray for them.
    • You can’t just pray for them to get it right or for God to show them where they are wrong. Pray for their blessings, for their comfort & protection, and for God to show you any special spiritual needs they may have.
    • Make yourself available to meet their needs. Call them up, and ask if there is anything you can do for them or if you can help them out with anything. I practiced this on someone, and I have to tell you – just the thought of it made me feel like I had rocks in my throat. But it came a whole lot easier once I first prayed for them and began to practice it daily.
    • Make it a habit to check in regularly.

Do this for a week, and try to carry it forward. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to love; you’ll also be amazed at the life transformations around you.