The Message (MSG)
1 Corinthians 13
The Way of Love ( the message)
1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
11When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
12We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
Love should penetrate every relationship we have, not just romantic and family relationships. Love is not confined to boyfriends and girlfriends. Love should be shown at work, the grocery store and in the classroom.
The two lists of what love is and isn’t shows attitudes. Love is not just a word we say, but an attitude that we have towards others. Have you ever met someone that you immediately enjoy being around? What is it about that person that makes you enjoy their company? It is their attitude. The way they express themselves, or the feelings they can produce through their presence. Of course people can be liars and transmit an attitude of love without really being loving. However, it usually does not take long for one’s true attitude to be revealed. You have probably also been around people who immediately cause you to dislike them. That is a lack of a loving attitude. The attitudes of love express the qualities of love. Are you loving? That may be a hard question to answer. It is very generic. But what about the qualities of love? Are you patient? Are you kind? Trusting? These types of questions are more pointed. How do you stack up?
There is the other list too. Are you envious? Proud? Boastful? What about rude and short-tempered?
Go through the list of attitudes and see how you do when thinking about your work colleagues or schoolmates. What about the other parents at your children’s school who probably need a change of attitude? Paul doesn’t say this is a list of what you need to require of others.
There are various Greek words for love used in the Bible. The word used in this passage is the word agape which is the type of love God has towards us. It is a love that is not dependent on others; rather it is a personal choice. You can’t make someone else have these qualities of love, but you can make a personal choice in your attitude toward them.
Jesus said in John 13:35 “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Making the choice to love others is not only a suggestion given in Paul’s Bible study on love in 1 Corinthians 13, it is also a command given by our Lord to those who would call themselves Christians.