1 Corinthians 12:31 -13:7
1 Corinthians 12:31 -13:7
- Though spiritual gifts are great, Paul is going to show them something even better
- If someone has the ability to speak in both the languages of men or even the language of angels, but they do not love others, all that talking is just a bunch of noise like randomly banging together a gong or symbol
- If someone could deliver a Divine message on behalf of God, could understood the great mysteries of life, knew the Bible frontwards and backwards, or had so much faith that they could move a mountain, but they did not love others, all that ability would be for nothing
- If someone sold every possession they had in order to feed the poor or if they refused to denounce Christ and were burned as a martyr at the stake, but they did not love others, all that other stuff they did wouldn’t amount to anything before God.
- You can identify love because it is patient with others, and it is kind to others, and it is not jealous of what others have or are.
- You know someone lacks love because they are jealous of what others have or are, they brag about their gifts or accomplishments, they are “me first”, they fly off the handle in anger, and they never forget the wrong done by others.
- Those who love others don’t gloat over other’s sins, but they take delight in truth
- The Characteristics of love are that it holds up under pressure, trusts God at all times, never gives up hope that things will get better, and it never gives up – it just keeps going.
We all know Christians who have great abilities, insights, or have done some amazing things in the name of Christ; and yet they lack the most basic level of caring and compassion for others. Paul basically says that it doesn’t matter what kind of outward super Christian you are, if you lack love for others you really don’t rate in God’s economy that is measured by love. He goes on to give some definition to what true love looks like or what it doesn’t look like. Basically, Christians are fooling themselves if they think they are something and yet they are prideful, judgmental, self-absorbed, or make it their business to put others in their place. On the contrary, true Christion love is marked by a gentle spirit of patience and kindness. True Christian love keeps this demeanor even when things go bad and people are slow to change. Yes, we want to encourage each other to grow in Christ, but the way we do that is important. Love needs to win the day, and we are fooling ourselves if we feel like we are good with God because of our accomplishments and yet we carry all kinds of negative thoughts and emotions around about others.
Father, thank you for loving me unconditionally. Please forgive me for looking down at my nose at others and judging them by what I am good at. Help me grow in Your kind of love, especially when people are tough to love. May our church not be marked not so much by lack of conflict, but an attitude of bearing with one another in love despite our differences and hurts. Will the world see You by how we love one another. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
Posted on Mon, October 16, 2017
by joel king