LINK: 1 Corinthians 13
The famous "Love Chapter" of the Bible! Paul has been talking about the gifts God has given the Church and how they need to be used to build up the body. It doesn't matter how gifted a person is, if he doesn't love others, then he's just making noise. Remember that Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35). No amount of teaching, preaching, giving, helping, prophesying, etc., is worth a hill of beans without love alongside it.
Let's take a look at Paul's description of love.
- patient - Do I allow others to go at a slower pace than I do?
- kind - Am I kind? or am I sarcastic with others?
- not jealous - Do I rejoice that others have abilities I don't have, rather than wishing I could be the one to do everything?
- does not brag and is not arrogant - Am I humble about what God has given me and enabled me to do?
- does not act unbecomingly - Do I do things to draw attention to myself?
- does not seek its own - Am I selfish? Looking out for my own interest?
- is not provoked - Do I get angry easily?
- does not take into account a wrong suffered - Am I forgiving?
- does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth - What do I rejoice over?
- bears all things - Do I carry burdens with/for others?
- believes all things - Do I believe in others?
- hopes all things - Do I hope good for others?
- endures all things - Do I put up with others?
- never fails - Do I give up? Or do I keep on loving, even when it's difficult?
Think of those you are closest to as you meditate through this chapter. How do you demonstrate your love for others? What areas need some work? Bring your heart to the Lord and let Him help you. One of my frequent prayers is that God will soften my heart, or keep it soft, toward various people in my life. I want to learn to love others in such a way that those around me will see Jesus through my love and actions.
Lord, you ask us to love each other as you love us. What a tall order! You gave everything for us, while our tendency is to take what we want for ourselves. Teach us to become unselfish and truly love one another. In the name of Jesus, amen.