The Greatest

preached a sermon about today’ passage called “What It’s Really All About” back on October 27th at Griffith First Christian Church.  I was struck by Paul’s words in verses 1-3.  He could have done amazing and wonderful things in the name of Jesus.  He could have spoken in many languages or even supernatural languages.  He could have incredible knowledge and insight into the mysteries of God.  He might have a faith that could move mountains.  He may have even sold everything he had and given the money to the poor.  He could have become a martyr for Christ.  Without the proper motivation, it was all worthless.  Without love, it was all for nothing.
Love is the greatest motivator in all the world.  Everything a Christian does should spring forth from a heart filled with love – love for God and love for others.
 What does love look like?  There are 16 characteristics of love found in verses 4-8a.  When I preached that sermon, I challenged people to do one of two things (or both).  I passed out red hearts and told the folks to write one of two things on them.  The first was to write a love note to someone who needed to be reminded that they were loved.  The second was to consider the 16 characteristics of love and to write down the one they had the hardest time with.  Maybe it was patience or jealousy.  Perhaps it was pride or selfishness.  Whichever facet of love they had a hard time with, they were to use this heart as a reminder to pray about it.  I believe that when we learn to love, we will be more like Jesus.  Why?  Because the Bible says in 1 John 4 very simply that God is love.  If you and I will learn to be more loving, then we will discover we are becoming more like Christ.  

1 Corinthians 13

New International Version (NIV)

13 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.


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