Friday, 11 January 2013

The greatest of these is love

One of the most well-known and loved scriptures of the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13. Most of us can quote the verses word for word. Love is patient. Love is kind... It is an incredibly beautiful and powerful passage, but so often the words are mindlessly repeated, sometimes taken for granted, and not seen for the instructions that they are.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 {ESV}
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things".

The Bible says in 1 John 4:8 that "anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love". In order for us to know God, we need to love, really love. Now looking at the above passage, can we honestly say that we have love? If we really just take a few moments and think about this, we realize that it is not always the case. If we had to replace the word "love" in this passage with our own name, how true would it still be?

_______________ is patient and kind;
_______________ does not envy or boast;
_______________ is not arrogant or rude;
_______________ does not insist on his/her own way;
_______________ is not irritable or resentful;
_______________ does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth;
_______________ bears all things; 
_______________ believes all things;
_______________ hopes all things;
_______________ endures all things.

Can we now say with certainty that we love like that? Not always, no. This is where the challenge comes in though. Love is not just some emotion that happens or some nice warm feeling, and it shouldn't only be reserved for certain people or things. In Luke 10:27 Jesus commands us to love the Lord with all our heart, all our soul and all our strength, and to love our neighbours as ourselves. In 1 Corinthians 16:14 it says that all we do should be done in love. 1 Corinthians 13 is an awesome guideline in showing us what love should look like.
More than anything , do all things with love, and love with all your heart.

1 Corinthians 13:13 {ESV}
"So now faith, hope and love abide, these three, but the greatest of these is love".

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