Mighty God, may knowing you be the only reward I ever seek. I love you and I praise you.
Read 1 CORINTHIANS 13:1-7
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Love divine, all loves excelling, / joy of heaven, to earth come down’.1
1 Corinthians 13 is one of the few passages that today’s non-Christians might recognize. This presents an opportunity for us to embody what is set forth here and commend the source of the love which, by his grace alone, we are able to share.
These verses show what real love is, the love that is exemplified in Jesus. Read the passage slowly, replacing the word ‘love’ with ‘Jesus’. Not only does everything fit, but the characteristics of love are fleshed out as we think of the many ways Jesus practiced them in his ministry. He is the embodiment of divine love. These verses call us both to worship him and to follow him.
Notice especially how ‘patience’ and ‘perseverance’ bookend verses 4–7. These particular qualities explicitly underscore the truth that you can’t hurry love. By definition, being patient and persevering takes time. If we live at 100 miles an hour, hurtling from place to place and person to person as we work through our never-ending lists of tasks, then we simply won’t be able to love as God defines it. If we are to show Christ-shaped love we have to take time, to be patient with that awkward person, to persevere when a relationship needs work. John Mark Comer calls us to the ruthless elimination of hurry’,2 a vital challenge when we live in an ‘accelerated culture’ which demands that we put our foot down and head for the fast lane.3 This may mean paring down our unfeasible to-do lists (which are often self-generated) and simplifying our lives. If we don’t do this, we won’t have time to show patience and perseverance. It then follows we won’t have time for something that is central to faithful discipleship. We won’t have time for love.
Are there things you can cut from your life, distractions which erode time for patience and perseverance with those God has given you specially to love?
Gracious God, teach me about love, real love, your kind of love. Lord, only you can enable me to live faithfully by love.
1 C Wesley, 1707–33 2 Comer, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, Hodder, 2019 3 D Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, Abacus, 1992
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Last Updated on October 12, 2022 by kingstar