Greatest is Love, 1 Corinthians 13. What if we sell everything we have and give all of our money to feed the poor? This is nothing without love.
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging 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, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 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.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3, ESV
What is love? Why does the Bible say, The greatest of these is love? 1 Corinthians 13:13 It took the apostle Paul 13 verses to answer those questions!
Think of the angels who appeared to the shepherds announcing the birth of the Lord Jesus. How must their voices have sounded to those bewildered shepherds? The angels were not just speaking, they were singing the praises of God! What a glorious sound that must have been! It is only the sound of clanging cymbals without love.
What a precious gift the prophets of old received from God; think of the mighty acts of Elijah and Elisha. What about Joseph and Daniel who were given the gift of interpreting dreams? Who had more knowledge than Solomon; even the Queen of Sheba admitted the things she had been told were only half as much as the reality of the wealth and wisdom of Solomon. Who had more faith than Abraham who by faith was willing to offer up his only son, Isaac, to God.
These are wonderful things; we marvel at such great men and women. Yet, they are nothing without love.
What if we sell everything we have and give all of our money to feed the poor? What if we are willing to be burned at the stake for Christ? Nothing - these are nothing without love!
If all of these things are nothing, then what exactly IS love? We are told in 1 John 4 that God is love. How do we know if we truly love one another; how do we know if we truly love God? These are important questions to answer. 1 Corinthians 13 contains the most detailed list of characteristics that truly define love. As we study each of these characteristics in detail, think of the great God we serve; each of these characteristics define the nature of our God.
Praise God, today, for the Godly characteristics He instills in your heart, and remember that the greatest of these is love!
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