1 Corinthians 13 is considered the LOVE chapter of the bible. I am sure it is quoted in more weddings than not. I vividly remember it recited at my wedding to my prince charming (it is Valentine’s day, so you can’t chuckle today when I say that). 🙂 Let’s read all 13 verses below:
1 Corinthians 13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
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.For we know in part and we prophesy in part,but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I love this chapter but even more than that I love the tiny verse that set’s the stage for these 13 verses in chapter 12 verse 31 (NIV) which says to “eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way” (italics added). I must pause from the love chapter for a moment and explain that the Lord has been penetrating my heart lately over the word excellent. He has called us to live an excellent life. We at times, only do things half way or just enough to get credit but are not always eager to do them excellent. If we do everything to bring glory to His name (Colossians 3:23) then we most assuredly should be doing them in an “excellent” way. If you are working for an employer, work with excellency. If you are a stay at home mom, fold the clothes, clean the house, cook the meals and get on the floor and play with your children with excellence. If you are being a servant and doing something for another person, serve with an excellent heart. You can put whatever it is that you do in the blank and ask yourself if you are being excellent in what you are doing.
The Lord makes our goal of excellency a little easier when he tells us the recipe for love. If we are living out 1 Corinthians 13 then it will be easier to life an excellent life of glorifying the Lord in all that we do. I love the way the Lord chose to end this chapter… “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
How are you demonstrating love today? What does this day of love mean to you?
The word love and Valentine’s Day always takes my mind to hearts, roses and chocolate. Immediately after that thought my mind goes to memories of high school and how the front office was always full of flowers for so many girls on Valentine’s Day. Many girls were on the list to pick up flowers and candy at the front office. My name was never on the list. That always hurt. I am so thankful that love does not end there. Love is not just about a day once a year when all of those with a “love” get to celebrate and all of those without one get to dress in black and eat bon bons all alone for the day.
LOVE IS GREATER when LOVE rests in Christ. I cannot begin to get my mind around the love of Christ. Who can comprehend it? Who could even begin to understand the mystery of His love? Why in the world would someone love us so much that He chose to have a miraculous birth through a virgin and then choose death on a cross for our sins?
Love exists because Christ first loved us. We are able to love others because of Christ’s example of love. His love towards us is much more than just a feeling; He demonstrated it by taking action. For God SO loved the world that He spared His own life and only Son in exchange for our lives and benefit so that we would be able to experience eternal life. Now that is some kind of love. I pray that you know and are living out real love!
John 3:16 (NIV ’84): For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.