God's Glory: As We Love
Tender Savior, give me a heart after Your own heart and let me love as You do.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:31-13:13
How are you living out these qualities of love?
These Christians in Corinth had somehow gotten so tangled up with working out the supposedly right way to demonstrate spiritual gifts that they had lost sight of the most important aspect of life which holds everything else together--love. The Greek word for love here (agape) involves a genuine and lasting commitment to others. It appears ten times in chapter 13 and 14:1, as though Paul wants to hammer home his point. He sandwiches the broad and contemporary-sounding description of love in verses 4 to 7 between some sweeping statements about spiritual gifts.
Imagine how his original readers reacted to this. Paul not only criticizes them for their misuse of spiritual gifts, but he also commands them to change their attitudes to one another. In addition he reminds them of their human limitations, as The Message beautifully phrases verse 12: "We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist." Our understanding and experience is limited, but one day all will be different. For the present, we must strive to love as best we can.
Slowly read verses 4 to 7 again. Journal about each of these qualities as you talk to God about growing them in you.
Lord, thank You that we can learn to love because You have first loved us.