10 Signs of a Christian – 10.  Love

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not 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 have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not 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 is not rude, 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.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.  (1 Corinthians 13)

Learn it:

            This passage in 1 Corinthians is packed with a lot of theology on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and if they have continued till today or they have stopped.  The middle section is also used at weddings to describe what love is.  We are going to focus more on the second thing and not address the more debated topics in this passage.  The main point of the passage is how love is better than any of the other spiritual gifts!  In verses 1-3 Paul write about how if we use the gifts of speaking in tongues, the gift of prophecy, or give generously but do not do them with love, it is worthless!  Love must be our motivation for using the gifts God has given us. 

            Paul then goes on to describe and define what he means by love in verses 4-7.  What a definition of love!  When we talk about living a life of love it means doing all of those things.  Being patient, kind, not envy, not boastful, not proud, and the list goes on and on!  Paul goes on in verses 8-13 to describe how a Christian matures and how love is the greatest thing we can achieve. 

Live it:

            While Jesus Christ was on earth, he modeled to us how we live a life full of love.  It was gracious, bold, and broke cultural norms.  He talked to those the world labeled unlovable.  People did not treat him well yet he prayed for them and did not hold it against them.  How can you display this kind of love in your life?  What are things you need to let go of so that you can truly love someone?  Think of someone who your relationship is currently going through a tough time.  How can you love them?  How can you serve them or meet a need they have?  That is Christ like love.  It calls us to die to ourselves and let HIS love shine through us.

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