1 Corinthian 13:4
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
1 Corinthian 13:4 is one of the favorite verse used in wedding.
In marriage, we say love another person until death. People say love is a decision you make. It is a commitment. Others say it is the best you give to another person.
Actually, love is none of those. It is not something you decide to give to someone. You see, we the natural man has no love inside of us. How can we give what we don't have? We should not be so presumptuous to think we are loving people or that we can will ourselves to have love. Bible said love only comes from God.
If you read 1 Corinthian 13 carefully, you will see it does not say what it appears to say at first glance. It said love is patience, kind and not envy. Let's take kindness as an example. If you sell all you have and give to the poor, isn't that kind? Secular people would say yes. Some ultra rich has promised to give all they have to the poor by the time they die, and has received great accolade. But 1Cor13:3 said countrary. If you give all to the poor, and don't have this thing called love, you are still nothing. You might ask what then is this thing called love? In reply, 1Cor13:4 said love is kind. But isn't giving all you have to the poor kindness. How then can giving to the poor not be love. What are we missing. What then is the true love?
1Cor13 talks about two different kinds of action. There are two kinds of people, a spiritual person and a non-spiritual person. They can both give $50 each to the homeless. Per the Bible, the spiritual person has love, and the non-spiritual person does not have love. Why, you would ask. The reason is giving is an outward action. God looks at your heart. Therefore, when 1Cor13 talks about kindness, is not talking about the outward action. Is not about what you do outwardly. Is what is inside in your heart. You see, the word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing to division of soul and spirit judging the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb4:12)
Therefore, 1Cor13 ask do you have kindness in your heart. The heart is what make up who you are. Are you the embodiment of kindness? Does kindness radiate out from your heart. Loving person should radiate out patience, kindness and rejoicing whenever the person see the truth. You can always give out money, but changing who you are inside is impossible. The non-spiritual man does not believe you can be changed inside. They do not know what it is like to be changed from the inside. Is is impossible for them to comprehend, and they will deny it is even possible. They can only do what is good on the outside. They will even go as far as setting themselfes on fire in an act of self-immolation as we seen on the news. However, sadly, the inside still does not have love.
"If I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing." 1Cor 13:3
Love therefore, can only be imbued from God as a supernatural attribute. You cannot be the embodiment of love if you are not filled with the Holy Spirit. 1John said this:
1 John 4:7
“Dear friends, let us love one another,a for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God”
Love comes only from God. It is God who grants us to love thru his Holy Spirit. As we do God’s will, he gives us love. Sadly, there are long time Christians who do not have love on the inside. I was one of those who still loved the world. Having that love is a treasure Christians should diligently seek. There is faith, hope and love, but the greatest is love. Love is an atribute of God. The greatest is to have the attribute of God.
A world without love is a dreadful thing. Imagine parents betraying children, and children betraying parents. In atheist country like China and Russia, during the worse of times in revolution when the state has completely rejected God, children were encouraged to betray their parents. Whether a person is a Christian or not, God imparts His love on people. Even the worse of mafia boss still loves his family. That is the grace of God that his love is given to all of mankind. It would be a horrendous life to never know love whether is from parents or from a spouse or a friend.
When man completely rejects God, God will at some point withdraws His grace. It is a form of punishment to show what is the world like without God's love.
God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanders, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to partents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful. Romans 1:28-31
Without God's love, you will do the most wicked thing. People can see you are miserable. In cases where the person has come to the full knowledge of Jesus, you can see the change.
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