Saturday, January 24, 2009
Love, The Greatest Gift Of All
Ok, we left off yesterday with 1 Corinthians 12:31, "But you should truly want to have the greater gifts
Love Is the Greatest Gift
And now I will show you the best way of all."
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
1 I may speak in different languages of people or even angels. But if I do not have love, I am only a noisy bell or a crashing cymbal. 2 I may have the gift of prophecy. I may understand all the secret things of God and have all knowledge, and I may have faith so great I can move mountains. But even with all these things, if I do not have love, then I am nothing. 3 I may give away everything I have, and I may even give my body as an offering to be burned. But I gain nothing if I do not have love.
Love, it seems pretty important to the Christian walk according to Paul. We can do miraculous things for God, but if we do not have love it means nothing. That makes me question myself. Do I have love? Am I a noisy bell or a crashing cymbal in God's ear? Am I nothing to God?
Some days when you read Scripture it really cuts to the bone. I went through a long spell of having stuff surgically removed from my life by the Lord a couple of years ago. I still see God refining me, I'm not perfect yet.
Now we have to look at love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. 5 Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. 6 Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth. 7 Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures.
WOW, love is a lot of things and some of them I am not. I put the things love is in bold so we could see what all love is. Patient and kind...sometimes. Not jealous...most of the time. Does not brag...I guess. Not proud...I think so. Not rude...I guess not. OK, so I don't have a perfect love, but I want to have perfect love. That is what Paul talks about in the very first part of today's reading. We should truly want
to have the greater gift of love. I truly do, don't you? So I believe God can work with that if we do truly want to love as we are suppose to.
1 Corinthians 13:8-13
8 Love never ends. There are gifts of prophecy, but they will be ended. There are gifts of speaking in different languages, but those gifts will stop. There is the gift of knowledge, but it will come to an end. 9 The reason is that our knowledge and our ability to prophesy are not perfect. 10 But when perfection comes, the things that are not perfect will end. 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 stopped those childish ways. 12 It is the same with us. Now we see a dim reflection, as if we were looking into a mirror, but then we shall see clearly. Now I know only a part, but then I will know fully, as God has known me. 13 So these three things continue forever: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.
Love never ends! Everything else will end, but faith, hope, and love will never end. I am verse 12 today. I see a dim reflection, but I will see clearly. God will reveal how I can have that perfect love Paul talks about in this chapter.
Father God, I pray for myself and all my brothers and sisters reading this today, that you would show us how to love like Paul tells us love is like. When we are impatient and unkind, jealous, proud, rude, selfish, upset with others, keep track of wrongs done to us, take pleasure in evil, not patiently accepting all things, lacking trust, lacking hope, and not enduring; show us how to be more like you and love with a Godly love. Remind us of the love you have for us and then help us show that same love to others around us. Lord, You loved us first. We did not have to be perfect for you to love us. We did not choose to love you first. You were patient and kind to us. You did not count up our wrongs we did to you and throw them in our face. You even sent Your very own Son to die on the cross to wipe out our sins against You. That is how much You loved us. You always trust in us, hope in us, and endure through everything with us. You never give up on us. Lord, You are the perfect picture of love. Help us each day to be just as loving to others as You are to us. In our loving Savior's mighty name I pray.
In God's Love,