God’s Glory–As We Love

Pray:

Tender Savior, give me a heart after Your own heart and let me love as You do.

 

Read: 1 CORINTHIANS 12:31-13:13

[31] Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way. [1] If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. [2] 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 do not have love, I am nothing. [3] If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. [4] Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. [5] It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. [6] Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. [7] It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. [8] 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. [9] For we know in part and we prophesy in part, [10] but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. [11] 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 the ways of childhood behind me.[12] For now we see only a 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. [13] And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

Reflect: How are you living out these qualities of love?

These Christians in Corinth had somehow gotten so tangled up with working out the supposedly right way to demonstrate spiritual gifts that they had lost sight of the most important aspect of life which holds everything else together–love. The Greek word for love here (agape) involves a genuine and lasting commitment to others. It appears ten times in chapter 13 and 14:1, as though Paul wants to hammer home his point. He sandwiches the broad and contemporary-sounding description of love in verses 4 to 7 between some sweeping statements about spiritual gifts.

Imagine how his original readers reacted to this. Paul not only criticizes them for their misuse of spiritual gifts, but he also commands them to change their attitudes to one another. In addition he reminds them of their human limitations, as The Message beautifully phrases verse 12: “We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist.” Our understanding and experience is limited, but one day all will be different. For the present, we must strive to love as best we can.

 

Apply:

Slowly read verses 4 to 7 again. Journal about each of these qualities as you talk to God about growing them in you.

 

Pray:

Lord, thank You that we can learn to love because You have first loved us.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union

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