Monday, September 12, 2011

Agape love! - September 12th, 2011

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.   
Love never fails.
But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13

History and Context:
For a refresher on the history and context of 1 Corinthians and the church in Corinth go to this post from a few days ago.

The Text:
The church of Corinth seemed to have a great knowledge about the gifts of the spirit and a great ability to act out in them, but they were acting out in the wrong motivation. In chapter 12 Paul goes through a great explanation of the different types of spiritual gifts and how we should all act and think as one body, each using their own gifts to benefit the body. He then comes to this chapter in which he explains the importance of love and what true love is. The word in the greek used in this chapter is Agape, which refers to moral preference, preferring one another before yourself. This is also the word that is used to refer to God's love, divine love.

The Challenge:
The world has so many descriptions of what love is. They depict love as an emotion or a feeling that can come one day and go the next. Sometimes the world's view of love is even selfish (i.e. "You complete me!"). Sometimes they make it out to be physical attraction, or mutual interests, etc. But true love is so much more than all these things. It is a choice, a choice to act according to this description from Paul. And it is a choice that will findly bring worth to everything that we do. If we do not love, everything we do is in vain, it means nothing. The challenge today is to learn wat true love is and act in it.

The Prayer:
Lord, thank you for being the ultimate example of selfless love towards me. Help me to follow your example and learn how to love others in the way that you love me. In Jesus name, Amen!

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