Empty Cross Ministries
February 14, 2021
Daily Devotion in I Corinthians 13
The Love Chapter
Paul continued teaching about the sign gifts in this chapter. Although he knew how the gifts could encourage early Christians and give the church a powerful testimony, he saw one spiritually inspired attribute of higher value. Paul saw how essential it was to have love for others.
This love is not necessarily the emotion the unsaved understand. It is a love that only a Christian can truly understand and have. The indwelling Spirit of God can make it possible for one to love others in a way that is impossible without God’s help.
Paul knew the gifts were either temporary, or that they would be different in the future. The preacher knew that when “… that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” He knew when the entire collection of writings was put together in our Bible that the gifts would be no longer necessary for Christians. Many would know all God wanted them to know within the pages of the inspired Word of God.
When prophecies, tongues, interpreting ceased (I Corinthians 13:8) and the other gifts changed in usage, love would still be most important. Charity, or love, can endure so many things and allow a spiritual person to please God. The world may think they understand love, but their idea is often far from what God says genuine love is.
Here is what God says genuine love is (I Corinthians 13:4-8):
- Love puts up with a lot.
- Love is kind.
- Love does not get envious.
- Love is not prideful.
- Love allows one to behave properly.
- Love will not make one self-centered.
- Love keeps one from getting mad so quickly.
- Love does not think the worst of someone so readily.
- Love does not like one to be in sin.
- Love desires the truth.
- Love gives multiple chances to a person.
- Love drives one to believe another.
- Love encourages one to be hopeful in many situations.
- Love gives others a lot of chances.
The gifts given to the early church were important. Still, the love a Christian can have for others is longer lasting and will allow a Christian to see and handle life a lot differently. Seeing people and this world through the eyes of love will change one’s life completely.
“People don’t care how much you know until they first know how much you care.”
Words to Understand:
Charity: love; kindness. “That disposition of the heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good.” — Noah Webster, 1828
I Corinthians 13
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 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, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 ¶ Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 ¶ Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.