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Wisdom of the Word
August 15, 2018, 11:23 AM

The Excellence of Love


1 Corinthians 13 Amplified Bible (AMP)

 

1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not [a]love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. 2 And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. 3 If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [b]to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all.

4 Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. 5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. 7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].

8 Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part [for our knowledge is fragmentary and incomplete]. 10 But when that which is complete and perfect comes, that which is incomplete and partial will pass away. 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 did away with childish things. 12 For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God]. 13 And now there remain: Faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], Hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], Love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], of these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is Love.

In today’s climate in which we live, it has become more important for the Body of Christ to return to the foundation of Scripture to guide and direct us in how to conduct ourselves. There are those today who profess Christ in their daily life, but either knowingly or out of fear, put aside their Faith and the Word of God to follow and push worldly agendas. In the name of moral self-righteousness, they hold up these agendas and push them forward into the lives of others.

 

In the midst of all of this, we find ourselves asking: “How do we change what is happening?” The answer is “Love.” The Love of God must permeate everything that we are, down to our thoughts. God’s Love must be the driving force which directs our interactions, our conversations, our feelings and our thoughts. We must choose Love.

 

Many believe that it is enough to be a “good” person. Verses 1-3 teach to us that it is not enough to do great things and be a good person. If we are solely good for the sake of goodness, our souls are lost because we do not have the Love of Christ Jesus and we have led others astray from the Lord. We must be motivated and driven by Love. For God’s Love drives out all fear, anger, and agendas.

 

Verses 4-7 teach us that when we choose to live and act in Love, it manifests in the fruit we bear. In difficult times, Love gives us patience and serenity (peace) to outlast the situation. We are not intended only to survive, but we are intended to overcome the situation. We are to be proactive in kindness and thoughtfulness to spread and share what Love is and can do. Love strengthens and encourages and uplifts us in and threw everything we can face. The Scripture also tells us what fruit is not that of Love, so that we can recognize it in others and more importantly in ourselves.

 

Verses 8 exclaims; “Love never fails.” God can be trusted, and He can be depended upon. Put ALL your Faith and Hope in God because “.. the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who [reverently] fear Him, ..” (Ps 103:17). Everything else is fleeting and temporary. This world is not our final home, and we are not longed to stay here for an eternity. We are to look and live forward to our Eternal Home in Heaven, growing and maturing in Faith. For the more we know and learn and live in Christ Jesus, the closer we come to the Perfect Will of God.

 

There is nothing more significant we can possess, do, speak or live than that of Love. The way to make a change in our world today is to start inwardly thru Love and then to shine that Love in our lives every day.

 

To God be the Glory! In Jesus Name!

 

Minister Earle Lloyd

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