Sunday, July 27, 2008
I Corinthians 13:1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. If you were to share this passage with people on the street today I have no doubt that you would find some that would instantly agree with you. Comments like love is a powerful thing, and who knows what else, but what do we think of when we think of love? Usually, we think of things like Romeo and Juliet. The great love stories of the world, or the dream guy we hope to meet some day, but biblical love is much greater. What is biblical love? I Corinthians 13:4-13 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Romans 5:8 but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. This is the love that conquers all. The love of God. Love is what caused God to send His Son to die for us. Our salvation is made possible because of love. When we see God, our faith and hope will be complete, and done away with, but love endures forever. We are commanded to love. Deuteronomy 6:5, Mark 12:28-31 Matthew 22:34-40 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. “This is the great and first commandment. “And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 15:9-13 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. We are commanded to love like this. As always Christ is our ultimate example. He set the standard for us. In God’s mercy and grace He sent His son to die for us. Not because there was anything in us that merited such a gesture, but because He loved us even while we were in a state of sinfulness! How often we hold back our meager attempts at loving others simply because we are having a bad day or we just don’t like that person for “some reason.” But we are commanded to love one another the way Christ loved us. and more importantly to love God. Our love for God is what causes us to live for Him, and it enables us to love others as well. If we love God and others the way we ought the other commandments will fall into place, because we will be seeking God's will and not our own.