“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:8,13 NIV
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 13
Paul’s intent in his great discourse on love to the Corinthian church wasn’t to devalue any of the gifts mentioned but rather to bring them into proper perspective. He simply states that none of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are of any value apart from love. God has given us his gifts to be used to build up others. The life that is so touched by the never ending love of God is enabled by the Spirit to love others as God loves them.
The kind of love Paul is talking about can’t be taught because language isn’t adequate to even describe the love God has for us and that we can have for each other. This kind of love comes directly from the heart of God.
“… God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Rom 5:5).
Many people have been so beaten up by life that they can’t even imagine loving this way. But it is precisely those who have been devastated by circumstances that God can use to bless others. No matter how scarred or hurting you may be today, ask Him to graft a new layer of his love over the top of the scars and the hurt. This new larger heart will have many times the capacity to love.
If any group of two or more will love each other with the love of Jesus, allowing his love to flow through each of them, then that group of people meets the definition of a church; the body of the living Christ.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).
- Love means we are committed to one another.
- Love means we work side by side.
- Love means we will lift each other up.
- Love means we will sacrifice for each other.
- Love means we will care for each other.
- Love means we will always be there for each other.
In his new covenant with his people Jesus gave us only two commands. There aren’t a lot of rules in this life we live by the Spirit, just two —
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).
The New Testament church was called “The people of the way.” Their new “way” was the way of love. Love isn’t real complicated. Love is just friendship set on fire. Let’s learn how to be committed to each other in the bond of love, to let the love of Jesus flow through us.
Prayer: Jesus, I confess to you my complete inability to love others with a complete and unconditional love. I recognize that only you are capable of loving this way. Jesus, I want relinquish all my gifts and want to seek only you and draw so close to you that your love begins to flow through me.
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”1463762143″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514xmVrmJcL._SL160_.jpg” width=”104″] [easyazon-link asin=”1463762143″ locale=”us”]Talk to God with Affirmations of Faith[/easyazon-link] by Bob Saffrin, the author of this article.
“… not a weak, pleading, begging stance on prayer like so many books have been. It leads by the example of knowing the promises of God and BELIEVING and speaking them. It comes from the place of knowing that God loves you, and believing that the promises are real, and that God will keep them.”