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Developing a Persistent Love
by Rick Warren
In our Devotionals series, Pastor Rick Warren discusses the Bible passages that inspire him the most. Today's Devotional is based on this passage:
"Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance" (1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT).
Love can be absolutely exhausting. Don't let anyone fool you. The kind of love that really makes a difference in this world will zap everything out of you.
Sometimes you just don't feel like you have any more love to give. Maybe you're in a people-intensive job—such as teacher, salesman, or waitress—and you come home and think, "I just can't face another need, another problem, or another heartache." So you just shut down.
Or you need to show love to a particular person who is demanding, selfish, and never returns your love. And you just think to yourself, "I'm done. No more."
While that's perfectly natural and perfectly human, it's not the high standard of love that God calls us to in the Bible. The Bible says, in 1 Corinthians 13:7, "Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance" (NLT). Love never gives up.
How can you have that kind of persistent love for another person? You get refueled.
When my kids were young, I remember taking the family to a nearby air show. It was so impressive to see how they would hook up a tanker to a jet in flight to refuel. I'll never forget that. Can you imagine a jet saying, "I don't need to refuel"? That would be silly! The jet would crash and burn. In a long distance flight, a jet has to refuel.
So do you. To show the kind of persistent love that God wants you to show, you have to refuel your love tank. Look around at society, and you'll see it's littered with debris from relationships that have crashed and burned because they didn't refuel their love.
How do you refuel your love tank? You start by letting God love you. "We love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19 NIV). When you're worn out, tired, and can't imagine showing love to anyone else, remember that God loved you so much he sent his Son to die for you.
Now that's real fuel. That's what keeps you going when you want to quit.