May 2, 2018
READ: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged (vv.4-5).
One of my favourite TV commercials of all time involves a man and a woman sitting in a conference room together. The man suddenly proclaims his attraction to her. While the woman is surprised, she responds that she feels the same way. But then the man turns his head towards her, revealing that he was actually talking to someone else on the phone via an earpiece—his passionate proclamation wasn’t meant for her. Oops!
There’s no mistaking the love believers in Jesus should have for one another as revealed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13. This chapter isn’t talking about romantic love, but the deep, powerful love that flows from God and leads to unity. That’s why the previous chapter focuses on the nature of the church—the way it functions like a “human body”, each part having its role (v.12).
The word for “love” that Paul uses in today’s passage is the Greek word agape, which is also the word that is frequently used in the New Testament to describe God’s love for us (see Romans 8:39). So, in other words, the way in which we’re to love one another in the church reflects how God loves us. And His love is lavished on us faithfully, abundantly and sacrificially. It’s no small thing to love one another as Jesus has loved us (John 13:34-35). He loved us so much that He gave His very life for us (1 John 3:16).
This should profoundly shape how we see others in the body of Christ. They aren’t just acquaintances or friends to be greeted politely. We’re called to love them as God loves us: patiently and kindly, without keeping a record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5). And by loving our brothers and sisters in this way, we will also learn to love God (1 John 4:20).
365-day plan: Esther 1:1-22
Read Ephesians 3:18-21 to see how Paul describes the vastness of God’s love.
Consider the depth of God’s love for you. How can you love others in ways that reflect His love?