1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)
If I speak in the tongues 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, 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.
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 completeness comes, what is in part 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 the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a 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.
On Valentine’s Day isn’t it fun to dig through a bag of those little candy hearts that have the words printed on them? They say cute little things like “SWEET”, “CUTE”, “HUG ME” or “I LOVE YOU”. As we think about love this Valentine’s Day let’s not focus on the love printed on the candy hearts but instead let’s take a look at three things Paul tells us about real Love found in our verses today.
1. REAL LOVE DOES THE RIGHT THINGS FOR THE RIGHT REASONS:
When I was younger I use to watch the TV show “Leave it to Beaver”. Do you remember the character Eddie Haskell? He’d act one way around grown-up and totally different around Wally and the Beaver! That’s called being two-faced or a hypocrite. Paul says real love does things from a pure motive and to do otherwise profits nothing! (Verses 1-3)
2. REAL LOVE HAS CERTAIN ATTRIBUTES:
Growing up in Michigan we’d say let’s go get a “coke” which could be anything cold and wet! Coke was a generic name for any kind of soda pop the local store had in stock! But the Coca-Cola company spends millions of $$$ to let us know that “Coke” is the real thing ®, “Coke is it!” Paul says real love has certain unmistakable qualities. (Verses 4-8a)
3. REAL LOVE STANDS THE TEST OF TIME:
Paul concludes this wonderful chapter on love in verse 13 by saying that in the end there are three essential things that will matter – FAITH, HOPE and LOVE and the greatest of these is real love! I want you to know that God’s love for us is a love that endures, He always stands ready to forgive and to pardon if we will only turn to Him is trust and repentance. He only asks that we love Him enough to obey His salvation plan. If you haven’t experienced the real love of God why not take that step today? His love will never fade away.
Dear Lord, we thank You for showing Your love to us. We pray today that we would share that love with those me meet today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.