Monday, 12 November 2012

But the greatest of these is love

Photo credit: bohomoth

“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.
            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.”1 Corinthians 13
There is nothing stronger than love. That’s why God describes Himself as love in 1 John 4:9. He could have called Himself “power”, “success”, “freedom”, “truth” etc, but He chose to be called “God is love.” God is all the things mentioned above and more, but He chose to be love. This is so powerful! To think that love is not just an emotion or an act, it is an actual person and when you meet Him, His loves changes you. It’s like a powerful drug and you keep wanting more and more.
The closer you walk to His love, the less power everything else in your life has over you. Addictions have to leave, unforgiveness becomes forgiveness, anger becomes kindness and the list goes on. And the beauty of it all is that we do not have to do a single thing to earn it. We just come, we just come to Him with a willing heart and His love just changes us.
He finds us in our need and in our brokenness, in our sadness, hurt and honesty, He comes with gentleness and He freely gives. His love heals, it restores and it multiplies. 1 John 4:19 says: “We love, because He first loved us.” We have no idea what love is before we experience His love and only then we can go and share what He pours into us with others. We are filled with His love everyday so that what we have can overflow into the lives of others.
Love is not just a candlelight dinner and a bunch of roses, it “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” and it never ends, never tires and never runs out. Sometimes love does not look like the “fluffy love” we imagine. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 and this is what love looks like. It is to lay your life down for a friend. Even if you were the only person on earth, God still would have put Jesus on the cross, because God is love.
“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgement, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:14-19          

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