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Do you feel provoked?

When we destroy old or decaying buildings to build something new, it is not because we are having a temper tantrum—we want to make improvements. We have a constructive plan in view, but if the old buildings had feelings, they would not see it that way. Have you considered that the Lord does the same thing with us?

It is impossible to provoke the temper of the Lord, because love does not get provoked into an illogical explosive response. The Pharisees were the worst at attempting to provoke Jesus, but it never worked and nothing could shake Jesus from His plan to kill sin on the cross. Even those who had been in defiant sin for years found grace in the presence of Jesus when they let go of their desires and accepted His mercy. When we see the Lord angry in either the OT or NT, He is never out of control, and His actions always are according to His plan to save the world, not just in the present, but for all time. He seeks to construct eternal value in us even now.

If there is explosive temper present (or some other illogical, destructive response) it is a revelation of the lack of mature love—otherwise, this passage is a lie. The problem is with us and the answer is with Christ. We cannot willfully choose to never be provoked. i am no model of this aspect of love, but Jesus certainly is. Love is a gift of Holy Spirit that we cannot earn; we receive it by leaving ourselves at the cross and seeking Christ daily to live and breathe in us, learning to hear Him and walk with Him. When our fleshly desires are deconstructed, love comes in from Christ and we begin to love without thinking about it.

Are you willing to let the Lord deconstruct some things in your life so that He may rebuild you with eternal things?

1 Corinthians 13:5--…[love] is not provoked…

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