Letís start in 1 Corinthians 13. What is Paul saying in verses 1-3?
People are always seeking after the gifts of the Spirit. They figure if the gifts are in operation it proves how spiritual they are and how close to God. But, without the fruit of love operating in your life, the word says it is like a sounding brass and a clanging symbol. In other words, just a lot of noise! And I have to wonder, is it from God at all?
You can have great faith to remove mountains - Mark 11:23,24. But without love, you are nothing. It is empty and meaningless.
And even though you give everything away including your life, it profits nothing, without love.
We must be love motivated. We must have a pure heart and Godís love in our heart. Anything done out of selfish motives is a stench in the nostrils of God. You may fool others, but you will not fool God. Most people, however, can see through a phony. It wonít take them long if they get to know you. Love is not something you can fake. If it is not real, people will know.
So we see here, in order for the gifts to operate purely in your life, they must be love motivated.
It must be the love of God, not human love. Human love can say "I Love you today, but I may hate you tomorrow." It is conditional on the circumstances. Godís love isnít. It is pure and unconditional. No strings attached. He loves us no matter what we do.
Going on in our text. Verses 4-5
Love suffers long and is kind, there is no envy, is not puffed up or arrogant.
How much patience do you have with your loved ones or anyone? Are you understanding of them and kind? Are you glad for them if they win praise and you donít? Do you get arrogant and say "I did the same thing and no one praised me for it"? Or do you step into the background and let them have their day? It is a hard thing to do. But it is what Love would do.
Have you ever embarrassed a loved one or anyone by being rude to them? Put them done in front of others? Drawing attention to yourself and saying "See I know how to do this better!"
Do you get angry when others receive the attention, you feel you are deserving of and think evil thoughts of them. This is not love. This is selfishness and hatred. And a place for the devil to get a stronghold. And it will hurt others and yourself!
Verses 6- 8a,13
Love is not happy with sin and lying. It rejoices when truth prevails. It wonít believe lies!
Love will stand with someone going through a hard time. Even when it looks bad. Love says "I will stand with you until we get to the bottom of this." Instead of deserting someone in the middle of a difficult time.
Love will believe the best of someone, no matter how bad it looks. How many times have we been to ready to believe something bad we have heard about someone? We havenít thought to go to that person and ask them. We just naturally assume that what we hear is the truth. Love will stand with you, no matter what.
Love will hope that there is an answer and that truth will prevail. And will endure to the end, and hold that person up.
And most of all LOVE NEVER FAILS! It will stand forever! Why? Because God is Love, and He will stand forever! Many things will cease and fade away. But love remains forever!
There are many great things from God that will abide forever. Faith, Hope and Love. But the greatest of these is Love!
1 John 4:7-8
Knowing God Through Love
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone
who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does
not know God, for God is love.
So let us Love one another! Why? Love is of God! If you truly love,
you prove you are born of God. Why? Because, God is Love. If you
donít love, you donít know God. Simple isnít it?
9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has
sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live
through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He
loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
God showed us His love by sending His son into the world to die, so
that we might live through Him. This is true Love. Before we even
knew Him or loved Him, God sent his Son to die for our sins.
How can we do any less? Not that we have to give our sons and
daughters to die, but that we love the unlovely. To love those that
donít deserve it. Love those that hate us. Love those that show no
love. To love those that donít know God! To Love the lost!
How can you say you love God and not love your brother? How can love
and hate abide in the same temple. It canít! Hate will consume! Hate
will devour! Hate will hurt not just others, but you too! Love will
overcome hate! Let the love of God consume you!
How do we do that?
16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God
is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
We must abide in God! For abiding in God, we abide in love. It
becomes our nature. As we do this, God begins to abide in us. He
will cast out all fear and torment.
So if we say we love God, we must love our brother.
1 John 5:1-3
If we believe in Jesus, we are born of God, and we must love our brothers and sisters who also believe. If we love God, we will keep his commandments. And he has commanded us to Love One Another!
What is the reward of all this???
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - Our Faith.
John 15: If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My Love, just as I have kept My Fatherís commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to, that My Joy may remain in you, and that "your" Joy may be full.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
Do we want the world to know we belong to Jesus? They will know by the way we show love to one another first, and then by how we show it to them! If we fight and devour one another, will they believe it if we try to tell them we love them? Will they believe that we love God and that he loves them? No we must show them by our love!
We must take time to get to know God. Fellowship with him. Pray, but also listen. Read His word. Spend time in worship to Him. Get intimate with Him and the love of God will shine through! It will be all over you. You canít get it by trying. You get it by doing!
When Moses had spent time with God, his face shone! He had to cover his face so people could look at him.
2 Corinthians 3:18
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.