Sunday, December 11, 2011

Love never ends! - December 11th, 2011

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
1 Corinthians 13:8
History and Context:
1 Corinthians was written by Paul while he was in Ephesus around 54 AD. In Acts 18 we see the funding of the church in Corinth. Paul spent 18 months there as he established the church. This letter is mainly a response to a letter which Paul recieved from the Corinthians. He says that some of what he heard about the church made him feel 'uneasy' (1 Corinthians 1:11; 5:1) and so he wanted to address these issues. He also answered questions which were presented in the letter. Corinth was a trade city that was known for being very corrupt. As people converted to following Jesus, they often did not realize that they had to leave their corrupt ways behind. Paul is mainly addressing a group of high status men who have become Christians but left their lives unchanged.

The Text:
1 Corinthians 13 is known as the love chapter. It is the most detailed breakdown of what true love is in the entire Bible. In chapter 12 Paul discusses the spiritual gifts and how the Holy Spirit distributes them to those whom He wills, but then he takes a break from the gifts to make it clear that without love all of those gifts are useless. After listing all the characteristics of love Paul ends with this one, that love never ends. Prophecies and all the spiritual gifts will all fade away, but it is love that remains forever, it is love that never fails of falls away, it is love that never ends.

The Challenge:In today's society we seem to be seeing 'love' end all over the place. Divorce rates are rising and more and more people are simply not even wanting to enter into the commitment of marriage because they don't trust that it will last. What Paul is telling us here is that there was never true 'Agape' love in those relationships. True love does not end. True love never falls away. True love will fight through until the end and will continue no matter what comes against it. True love is a daily choice. Let's rebel against society's view of love and begin acting in true love, not only towards our spouses but towards all those around us.

The Prayer:Lord, show me what true love is and help me to love those around me in the same way that you love me. In Jesus' name, Amen!

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