How does love help you to have the character to play your part of God’s family?
Corinthians 12:31b- 13:13
And yet I will show you the most excellent way.
13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 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 put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13 tells us that we are loved by God. And God’s love is amazing. God has shown us the greatness of his love, most vividly in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Yet from Creation to the Cross, he patiently and constantly worked out His plan of salvation. His loving kindness is our refuge, our salvation. When we are adopted into his family through Jesus Christ he wipes out the long list of wrongs we have done to Him. He protects us. He continues to work in us to conform us to the image of His Son.
1 Corinthians 13 teaches us how we should love:
Knowing I am loved and how I am loved makes me want to respond to God in love. And when I respond to God in love, making him my one desire and the focus of my life, his love overflows in my life to those around me. Loving God and being loved by God makes it easier for me to love those around me. I want to love them.
When I read 1 Corinthians 13 and reflect on God’s love for me it makes me want to love those around me better, my husband, my children, my parents, my brothers and sisters, the family I live with and the family I worship God with. Unfortunately I often fail. But I put my hope in God’s love that does not fail. He continues to love me and work out his love in me too. With his strength I can persevere. With his love I can love.
Head: Read back through 1 Corinthians 13 and think of how it describes Jesus’ suffering for you at the cross. Remember how you are loved.
Heart: How will you respond to God’s great love for you?
Hands: How can you show God’s love to those around you in a way that reflects the grace & kindness of Jesus?
Prayer: Father, Thank you for loving me. Help me to love my brothers and sisters as you have loved me. Let my life be a reflection of Your love to all around me and may it glorify You.
A song to listen to: You Are My King