Thursday Devotion: L O V E (1 Corinthians 13:1-8).
This is a very familiar passage that almost every believer knows. This same passage is often used for wedding sermons, printed onto cards, posters, fridge magnets, t-shirts and many more. It is a chapter about what love is. From this passage, we can gather that LOVE is vital, and it is absolutely necessary to have love in our life as everything that we do needs love.
Here, Paul was telling the Corinthians of their need to have love for one another because love matters far more than their spiritual gifts. He was showing them the right way to exercise their spiritual gifts mentioned in chapter 12 as they were competing with each other as to whose spiritual gifts are greater.
What is this ‘LOVE’ that Paul is talking about? He stated that love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, not proud, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil, rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and never fails. Wow! How can we possibly love like that? The Corinthians obviously did not live like that. But there is one person who did, Jesus! As believers, we should pursue this love and aim to become more like this love. The closer we get to Jesus, the more we grow spiritually, we will realize that what matters is love because love conquers all. God is love and He has already won the battle against the kingdom of darkness for us. If we have the love of God in our hearts, then we can be loving, patient, kind, good, faithful, etc (Galatians 5:22-23).
Paul is talking about agape love here which is a commitment to treat another person with concern and care, that you will cherish and uphold that person. And ‘agape’ is a word used to describe the love of God which is unconditional. God, our creator, has never shown anything but perfect love to His creation, to us. He has loved us by sending His one and only Son to pay the price for our sins. He has redeemed and forgiven us. We are His children.
Jesus gave us the first & greatest commandment which is to “love the Lord with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind,” followed by the 2nd commandment which is to “love our neighbor as ourselves” (Matthew 22:37-39). It is not possible to love our neighbor first without having loved God. We cannot love other people until we have first love God.
Loving God is not difficult because all you need to do is to be aware of how much He has loved you first. And when you love God, the love within us is awakened by the Holy Spirit to enable us to love people of all nationalities & races, and even those who are not that lovable or appealing to us.
Lord Jesus, I pray that the gift of love may be manifest in my life. Make me to be a more loving person, and that my life may be your channel of love spilling over to touch others today and every day that I am on this earth. Amen.