Love bears all things, 1 Corinthians 13:7a (ESV)
It was a beautiful spring day and Randy thought he would sit outside while studying for his next sermon on love. As he leaned back against a tree a gentle breeze blew across his face bringing the scent of blossoms and fresh cut grass. As he sat there taking in the scents of spring, he picked up his Bible and started reading, unfortunately the sounds of spring kept side tracking him.
The first sounds he heard were the birds. “What beautiful sounds they make.” he thought and then there were the frogs which got him thinking about his younger years when he used to catch them and then there was the loud RRROOOAAARRR!!! of a bear.
“All right, Harold!” Randy called out, “There are no bears around here. Come out with your hands up.” “I’m not Harold!” Bernadette stated as she came out from behind the tree Randy was leaning against. “Bernadette!?” said in surprise, “What are you doing here?” “I thought you could use some help with your sermon.” Bernadette answered.
“Well,” Randy said, “You might be able to help me. Bye the way, what was that loud roar all about?” “You mean you don’t know.” Bernadette asked a bit puzzled, “I was pretending to be a bear. I thought it would help you with your sermon. “How will pretending to be a bear help me?” asked scratching is head.
“I don’t know.” Bernadette said putting her hands on her hips, “All I know is I heard you were going to talk about a bear for your next sermon.” Randy scratched his head some more trying to remember saying he was going to talk a bout a bear. “If you talk about “Teddy bears” I can help you out a lot.” said, “I’ve got thirteen of them. My favorite is the pink one with yellow pok-a-dots.”
“Well, I’m not talking about teddy bears.” Randy said. “How about Panda bears?” Bernadette asked, “There pretty cute. Or maybe some polar bears or black bears or brown bears or maybe even a Big Ferocious Grizzly Bear.” “I am not talking about bears.” Randy interrupted almost shouting, “I’m talking about love and how it bares all things.”
“A love bear, how cute.” Bernadette chirped when she heard that, but before she could carry on Randy let out a big RRRROOOOAAAARRRR!!!! himself which caused her to scream “AAAUUUGGGHH!!! A bear. Help!!! Help!!! .......” “Calm down, Bernadette” Randy laughed. “Calm down?” Bernadette quipped, “I heard a bear. You’ve got to protect me.”
“Protect you? Hmm.” Randy thought out loud, “I think you just helped me with my sermon.” “What?!” Bernadette screamed, “ I’m being attacked by a bear and all you can think about is your sermon.” “Calm down Bernadette.” Randy said again, “ There is no bear but if there was I would protect you. As for my sermon, It's not about bears but about how love bears all things.”
“Love bears things?” Bernadette asked trying to figure out what the meant. After a few minutes her eyes got big and she blurted out, “I'm not going to help you with that. I'm not going to bare myself, I'm keeping my clothes on.” and with those words she left on the run as Randy called after here to no avail “Not that kind of bare.”
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Psalm 100:1-3 (ESV)
What do you know about sheep? – They're black, white, fluffy, dumb and needful of a shepherd? Throughout the Bible people are often represented by sheep. There are many stories in the Bible that teach us lessons using sheep to represent us and some of these stories about sheep well help us with our bear. Let's look at some familiar stories involving sheep.
And David said to Saul, "Let no man's heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine." And Saul said to David, "You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth." But David said to Saul, "Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. - 1 Samuel 17:32-35 (ESV)
Did you see the sheep in this story? David, in trying to convince Saul he could handle Goliath tells of tacking care of his sheep, of rescuing them from bears and lions.
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. - Luke 15:4-5 (ESV)
Did you see the sheep in this story? It was lost and needed to be found and it was.
So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, - John 10:7-14 (ESV)
Did you see the sheep in this story? Did you see how the good shepherd take scare of them? Did you see that Jesus is the Good Shepherd and we are the sheep?
1 Corinthians 13 :7 tells us that love bears all things. The word for bear in the original language has the idea of holding up, or covering up as in a roof which is meant to protect. This is what love does.
Try these verses out
- 1 Peter 4:8 - Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. (NASB)
- Romans 15:1 - We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (ESV)
- Galatians 6:2 - Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (ESV)
Here's Something To Ponder
- In what ways have you been protected by love?
- In what ways are you letting your love protect others?