God’s Word Goes Forth: Abide in God’s Love
1 Corinthians 13:1-13: Paul knows that divisions in the church at Corinth are intensified further by disagreements over spiritual gifts, including “speaking in tongues.” Paul seeks to address this issue by emphasizing the centrality of love, which is important over and above all other gifts and talents. This is to be no ordinary type of love, but a love, which is selfless, unconditional, and voluntary.
Today's Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:7
Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.
1 I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. 2 I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains—but if I have no love, I am nothing. 3 I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned —but if I have no love, this does me no good. 4 Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; 5 love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; 6 love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. 7 Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. 8 Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. 9 For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; 10 but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear. 11 When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways. 12 What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete—as complete as God's knowledge of me. 13 Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.
Of the several words for “love” in Greek, storge (love among family members) and eros (sexual love) do not occur in the New Testament. Philia, which means “friendly,” does occur in the New Testament. But the word used for love in these verses is agape which refers to God’s love, and describes the kind of self-giving love God’s followers are to show toward others. Are you able to show God’s love – agape in every aspect of your life?
God you are love and I thank you for embracing me in your divine love. Just as you love me, enable me to love others. May my acts of love be God’s love – agape that I may help others to know your love. Amen.