Tongues, prophesy, knowledge, absolute faith, philanthropy,
martyrdom without Gods love in Christ results in nothingabsolute zero.
Go back and read again the greatest essay ever written on love. First
Corinthians 13 always reminds me of the highest priority in the Christians life.
But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is
love (v. 13).
Why is this chapter so important for the growing Christian? It is an
awesome portrait of Jesus Christ. Read through this chapter again substituting the name
Jesus Christ in place of the word love or charity. It is marvelous
portrait of Christ who models for us perfect love.
is patient (v. 4a).
Love is enduring. It extends its grace even in the most heated
moments in life. When our nerves are frayed it doesnt fly off the handle. It is not
easily frustrated and short-tempered. Gods love in us sees beyond the circumstances
and considers all persons involved. Christ was extremely patient with His disciples and
those who were slow spiritual learners (Lk. 24:35). He is still patient and not willing
that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). Are we as patient with those who are slow to believe
in Him? Mature Christian love is consistently slow to lose patience. It takes a long time
before fuming and breaking into flames.
is kind (v. 4b).
Love looks for ways to be helpful and demonstrates gracious
kindness to others. It looks for the best in others, and overcomes selfish attitudes and
behaviors. When we are kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving of each other we are
being just like God in Christ who has forgiven us (Eph. 4:32; 2 Tim. 2:24; Gal. 6:1).
is content (v. 4c).
Love is never envious and does not boil over with jealousy. Love
demonstrates an attitude of contentment with what God has provided for the individual. It
overcomes envy and jealousy (1 Cor. 10:23-24; 2 Cor. 12:19-21).
is accepting of others (v. 4d).
Love is neither boastful, arrogant, conceited, nor does is it seeking
vainglory. It is not haughty and is not anxious to impress. Love is an accepting attitude
of other individuals, gifts, abilities, talents, and even their weaknesses. It is not
arrogant and does not brag. It does not puff itself up with inflated pride (1 Cor. 4:6;
8:1; Rom. 14:19; 15:1-2; Col. 3:8-10).
is tactful (v. 5a).
It does not act unbecomingly, indecently or in a shameful
manner. It does not act with rudeness, but chooses the right word and expresses it in the
right way at the right time. It does not scheme and play one up man ship. It
does not develop a sharp critical attitude and act unbecoming toward others who do not
measure up to your standards (Eph. 4:29-32). It would do nothing that would cause one to
is unselfish (v. 5b).
Gods love is not selfish and does not lookout for number one
(Eph. 4:17-20). It does not seek its own rights and is never self-seeking. It does not
pursue selfish aims. The Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to
give His life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28).
is forgiving (v. 5c).
There is nothing more refreshing to the soul than having a sense of
being forgiven by God and others. Love is not quick to take offence and seeks
reconciliation. It does not keep accounts of wrongs done by others (2 Cor. 5:19; Rom.
4:8). Gods kind of love is forgiving. It does not hold grudges and is never
provoked, and does not take into account a wrong suffered. Forgiveness
is modeled for us perfectly in the love of Christ (Lk. 23:34; 1 Peter 4:8; Jas. 5:20;
Matt. 18:21-22; 11:27-30). He was never touchy, fretful or resentful. Jesus did not store
up resentment and bore no malice toward others.
edifies (v. 6a).
Love builds other people up and makes them look good. Love does not
find any pleasure in finding wrongdoing in others. It edifies and says you are important
in the Kingdom of God. It does not rejoice in unrighteousness. It rejoices
when it sees the righteousness of God prevail. It is never glad when wrong is done. This
was the example of Jesus in John 8:1-11, John 4, etc.
rejoices in the truth (v. 6b).
Gods kind of love gives others freedom to speak the truth (Eph.
4:25-27). Love is always glad when truth prevails.
protects (v. 7a).
Gods kind of love covers up a multitude of sins and covers
over, shields, and protects people from injuries in life. It is always eager to look for
the best in others. It bears all things like the covering of a roof (1 Cor.
9:12). Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to
believe the best of every person.
trusts God in all circumstances (v. 7b).
Love believes in God and His sovereignty in everything and all
circumstances. It exercises faith in everything, and there is nothing it cannot face. It
causes the Christian to give others the benefit of doubt, and demonstrates your confidence
in God. Love believes all things, hopes a things, endures all things because
it points to an all-wise sovereign God. Prophesy, tongues, knowledge all have their
purpose and will be done away with in time. But love never fails (v. 8).
How does God produce this kind of love in the Christian? It begins
with trust in Him and His saving grace. All He needs is a willingness to make yourself
available to Him. Allow Him to settle down and make Himself available in your heart. As
you abide, or make yourself at home in Him, He reproduces His love within you and your
attitudes, actions and behaviors change.
Do you want to love with this kind of love? This is what you need,
your family needs, and those with whom you relate everyday.
This kind of love never fades out and endures everything.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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