Friday, January 14, 2011

What is most important?

 When I read chapter 13 this morning I noticed 3 things right away;
1) The chapter is short
2) Paul focuses on ONE word and leaves NO DOUBT of its importance
3) Paul defines the word in depth

Let's work backwards and define the word first, and let's all take a personal inventory and see if we have any, some, or all of these characteristics.

You know how much a like to reason things through lists, so here we go:

1) Patient

2) Not enviousEnvy: To feel uneasiness, mortification or discontent, at the sight of superior excellence, reputation or happiness enjoyed by another; to repine at another's prosperity; to fret or grieve one's self at the real or supposed superiority of another, and to hate him on that account.

3) Not boastfulBoast: To brag,or vaunt one's self; to make an ostentatious display, in speech, of one's own worth, property, or actions.

4) Not arrogantArrogant: Assuming; making or having the disposition to make exorbitant claims of rank or estimation; giving one's self an undue degree of importance; haughty; conceited; applied to persons.

5) Is not rudeRude:  Rough; of coarse manners; unpolished; uncivil; clownish; rustic; as a rude countryman; rude behavior; rude treatment; a rude attack

6) Does not insist on its own way

7) Is not irritable or provoked to angerIrritable: Very susceptible of anger or passion; easily inflamed or exasperated; as an irritable temper.
Provoked: Excited; roused; incited; made angry; incensed

8) Is not resentful, thinks no evilResentful: Easily provoked to anger; of an irritable temper

9) Does not rejoice in iniquity (wrong doing)

10) Rejoices in The Truth


How did you do?....Me?....NOT VERY GOOD!  When we love like this, we love like Christ and that is our objective......."Lord, fill us with Your Spirit that we can love like this!"
1Corinthians 13:4-6 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
Have you ever been around very loud, bad music such as an untalented marching band....or worse yet, have you been positioned right next to the kid with the cymbals that is slapping them together as if it were an Olympic sport?  The chaos of a terrible sounding, extremely loud band that just won't quit can drive you crazy and inevitably force us to cover our ears for a moments rest from it.

That is exactly how Paul describes others view towards us if we fail to walk out our faith in love. 
1Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

Paul, once again, makes it clear that we are expected and commanded to grow in our faith if we belong to Christ:
1Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

When a person is born-again they abide in Jesus, they abide in their faith in Him alone for salvation, they have a hope, a joyful expectation of things to come, and they abide in that hope, and through the Spirit they abide in love.  I know a couple people that every time I talk to them I can see the love of Christ pour out of them, to see the love of Christ in someone is SO AWESOME....I can't help but walk away praying, "Lord, help me to love like that, let other people see Your love in me for Your glory."

1Corinthians 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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